, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31- Eight magistrates have been sacked after failing additional scrutiny by the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board.
The Board’s chairman Sharad Rao said they cleared 20 others who were found suitable to continue serving.
The main grounds for review according to the chairperson were “Jurisdiction as defined in Supreme Court petition Number 29 of 2014. In some instances the board had considered matters that rose after 27th August 2010 in reaching a finding of unsuitable. The said matters shall be referred to the Judicial Service Commission.”
The other factor was new evidence that was provided by judicial officers which shed light on certain issues that had led to a finding of “unsuitable.”
Rao, who addressed journalists on Thursday, said the eight judicial officials had appealed the board’s earlier decision but could still not make it.
The eight judicial officers who failed to establish ground for review include Teresiah Ngugi Njeri, Timothy Odiwour Okello, Wilson Nkunja Kaberia, Ezra Odondi Awino, and Samwel K. Gacheru.
Others are Bernard James Ndeda, Wilkinson Nyaga Njage and Jacinta Kwena Dibondo.
In the case of Gacheru, he had argued that the board failed to give due regard to an affidavit that he had filed explaining cash deposits in his account.
The chairperson however said that they established that he had not furnished any new evidence, sufficient to justify a review in his favour.
Ndeda on his part had claimed that the complainant had a mental problem but the board found otherwise.
The only outstanding issue relates to Justice Ombija, who was determined unsuitable, but has moved on to the court to quash the said finding.
The matter is still pending in court.
The board’s term has been extended for a further three months during which they are expected to compile a final report on the five year vetting process and provide a roadmap for critical reforms in the Judiciary.
During the three months, the board shall also archive information generated during the vetting process and make recommendations that, “shall hopefully assist in eliminating the ills including corruption that presently afflicts the judiciary.”
Among the suggestion received so far, Rao said include all judicial staff be vetted and an independent mechanism to deal with complaints against all judges and magistrates established.