Now Baraza in court to block tribunal

Suspended DCJ Nancy Baraza/ FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 26 – Suspended Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza has now moved to the High Court to block a tribunal appointed by President Mwai Kibaki barely hours after it was formed.

Baraza wants the High Court to issue a conservatory order restraining any State officer or institution from publishing in the Kenya Gazette the appointment of a tribunal pursuant to a letter to President on January 19.

She also wants the court to block the tribunal from being sworn in or commencing and executing its mandate.

The matter is due to be heard before Justice Mohammed Warsame at 2.30pm on Thursday.

President Kibaki had on Wednesday night suspended Baraza and formed a tribunal to investigate her conduct, following allegations that she pinched a security guard’s nose and threatened to shoot at her.

The action by the Head of State followed recommendations by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) which demanded that she faces suspension and a probe, after last month’s confrontation with Rebecca Kerubo at the Village Market shopping mall in Nairobi

In a gazette notice issued late on Wednesday, the President said he had formed a seven-member panel to investigate the matter.

The panel includes Augustino Stephen Lawrence Ramadhan, a former Chief Justice of Tanzania, as chairman. The members are Prof Judith Mbula Behemuka, Justice (Rtd) Philip J. Ransley, Surinder Kapila, Beauttah Alukhava Siganga, Grace Barbara Ngele Madoka and Prof Mugambi Jesse Ndwiga Kanyua.

Lawyers Valeria Onyango (Lead Counsel) and Gideon Solonka Kilakoi (Assisting Counsel) were appointed to aid the tribunal.

“The mandate of the tribunal shall be to investigate the conduct of the Deputy Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Kenya, Honourable Lady Justice Nancy Makokha Baraza on the basis of Articles 168 (I)(e); 73(I)(a) and (b); and 75(I) and (2) of the Constitution and the Judicial Service Code of Conduct and Ethics, Legal Notice No. 50 and other relevant laws and matters including but not limited to the allegations contained in the petition by the Judicial Service Commission of Kenya dated 19th January, 2012 and presented to myself regarding the conduct of the Honourable Deputy Chief Justice, Lady Justice Nancy Makokha Baraza,” a dispatch from State House had said.

In the discharge of its functions, the statement said, “The Tribunal shall prepare and submit a report and its recommendations thereon to me expeditiously.”

In the meantime, President Kibaki said: “Honourable Lady Justice Nancy Makokha Baraza, the Deputy Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Kenya stands suspended from exercising the functions of her office with immediate effect according to Article 168(5) of the Constitution.”

The resolution to send a petition to the president was reached at a meeting held by the JSC on January 13, 2012.

Last week, the police re-submitted their investigation report to the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko recommending that Baraza be prosecuted but he is yet to take action.

Rob Jillo

Rob is the Special Projects Editor. He has special liking for digital media being the first Online Editor for Capital Group. He likes blogging on day-to-day issues, views and news making headlines locally and on the global front. He is a student of Journalism and Related studies at the University of Nairobi and holds a diploma in Mass Communication.

  • Jane

    Baraz also has her rights. Those who want her out to pave way for njoki will not manage so easily. She is not going down without a fight

  • Jane

    Why did Kerubo leave her
    security desk unmanned to chase after Baraza?  Who was going to inspect
    the other women who came after Baraza from a security standpoint? 
    Was Kerubo  not trying to prove a point?  Did she not also have her own
    Machiavellian method to settle scores with a woman she deemed ‘elite’
    and rushed after her to ‘put her in her place’?  Protocol demands that
    if you find that you have been bypassed as a security guard, rather
    than leave your post, you ought to seek the assistance of a supervisor.
    You must not engage in confrontation.

    It is not even clear whether in Baraza’s case she
    endured a level of harassment by Kerubo due to her gender, to warrant
    her reaction, or whether this was just a joke that took a sinister
    turn.  The whole saga could have been a big joke rather than the cruel,
    gendered assault it has dissolved into. Sadly, it has been blown out of
    proportion and resulted into national debate on ‘Ngoma cia aka’ – Women

    If Nancy Baraza did pinch Esther Kerubo, then she
    committed a crime but the vitriolic responses from the general public,
    and the reaction of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), displayed in
    different media outlets, have not been commensurate with her crime. 
    They seem too quick to vilify and crucify Baraza and what her
    personality stands for – an elite Kenyan woman, who holds a high public
    office, and one who is not reliant on a man for survival. This is the
    image those who vilify her are reacting against and that is why the
    vitriol is disproportionately larger than her crime.  Her enemies
    wrestle with the fear that more Kenyan women will ascend to high
    office, liberate themselves from patriarchal inhibitions, and wield
    some power, so Baraza must be dealt with as a ‘sacrificial lamb’ to
    assuage their fears.

    • geofry

      Well said. Suppose Baraza obliged for the normal inspection then proceed to launch a complain of harassment with management? Better still invite the lady for a brief one-on-one or even cup of tea? If anything am 100% sure that Baraza is more educated and enlightened than Kerubo. Or is it “a woman is a woman”? I saw another one from Australia running away from some harmless demonstrators until she lost her shoe. All the while she was not even the target.