President Uhuru Kenyatta has suspended High Court Justice Said Juma Chitembwe and appointed a tribunal to probe allegations of gross misconduct.
According to the Head of State, this follows a recommendation by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) which stated that the allegations of gross misconduct on the part of a judge erode the faith of Kenyans in the fair administration of justice.
The tribunal is set to be chaired by Justice Mumbi Ngugi with Jasper Mbiuki and Sarah Yamo assuming the role of joint secretaries.
Justice Chitembwe’s woes began after former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko who was the main complainant, accused him of corruption.
On November 22, 2021, the JSC initiated proceedings against Chitembwe after Sonko released video clips, social media posts and cell phone recordings implicating the judge in corruption.
Chitembwe at the time dismissed the allegations saying that he was unfairly targeted.
On November 25, the JSC also summoned Sonko to testify as a witness on videos he posted linking Chitembwe to corruption.
Several petitions were filed with JSC, including by Sonko’s aide Francis Wambua, all seeking a probe on the judge’s conduct.
In his petition, Wambua said the judge should be investigated, claiming he received bribes to influence the outcome of cases touching on Sonko.
Prior to Sonko’s leaks, two other petitioners had also filed petitions seeking his removal from office.
One of the petitioners who had accused Chitembwe of bribery and abuse of office alleged that the judge tried to bribe him to withdraw the case.