, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 12 – A Constitutional Court has ordered the reinstatement of a chief magistrate who was retired following a countrywide strike five years ago back to the judiciary.
High Court judges Jean Gacheche and Leonard Njagi on Thursday afternoon quashed the decision by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to send Joyce Manyasi on early retirement in June 2005.
The judges found that Ms Manyasi who was a Chief Magistrate in Machakos had made a case against the JSC and declared that the procedure taken by the Commission was wrong.
"We have considered the submissions before us and found that the applicant has made a point. The procedure to retire her was wrong, we allow her application seeking to be reinstated and hereby quash the decision,” they declared.
Speaking to the press moments after the verdict was delivered, Ms Manyasi said that justice has been done " It is a relief. It has been a long leave.”
Ms Manyasi moved to the constitutional court to challenge the decision by the Judicial Service Commission arguing that it was arbitrary, illegal and unreasonable because the rules of natural justice which require that she be given a hearing, were not followed.
Through advocate Mohammed Nyaoga, Ms Manyasi told the court that in reaching the decision, the commission also ignored the principles of fairness and due process.
She urged the bench to order she be reinstated so that she can work and retire on her own volition.
The court was told that before she was retired, she had received a letter from Chief Justice Evan Gicheru interdicting her in public interest for participating in an illegal strike by abandoning her duties and court precincts.
She claimed that she stayed on duty the whole day and performed he usual duties adding that for 20 years that she served in the judiciary was without "blemish" .
The Judicial Service Commission had opposed her application for reinstatement saying the decision to retire her was within the law.
She had sued the Chief Justice, former high court registrar C.K. Njai, the Judicial Service Commission and the Attorney General.