NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 12 – The tribunal appointed to investigate the conduct of suspended Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza is yet to set a date when it will commence its hearings.
An official at the tribunal’s secretariat told Capital FM News that they would soon gazette when the team will start its sittings.
“This tribunal is not a small matter. The sittings cannot start in secrecy; once the date is set, this will be gazetted,” said the officer who spoke on condition of anonymity since he is not authorised to discuss the tribunal’s affairs with the media.
On Thursday, security guard Rebecca Kerubo and two other witnesses appeared before the secretariat to record statements.
“Kerubo and other witnesses were asked to come and record statements with the secretariat. This is just the preliminary stage,” the source asserted.
There had been confusion when Kerubo’s lawyer Irungu Kang’ata said that the tribunal would start its sittings on Thursday morning, after they received summonses to appear.
“My client called me last week and told me that she had received information that she was supposed to come and testify before the tribunal today (Thursday). She is supposed to appear at 2pm today (Wednesday). Other witnesses were supposed to appear at 10.30am,” he explained.
But Baraza’s lawyer Felix Odhiambo said his client had not received such communication, saying he had been puzzled by media reports that the tribunal was due to commence its hearings.
The seven member tribunal was formed by President Mwai Kibaki in January to investigate the conduct of Baraza following allegations that she pinched a security guard’s nose and threatened to shoot at her.
The action followed recommendations by the Judicial Service Commission which demanded that she faces suspension and a probe, after confrontation with Kerubo at the Village Market shopping mall in Nairobi on New Year’s Eve.
The tribunal comprises Augustino Stephen Lawrence Ramadhan, a former Chief Justice of Tanzania, as chairman. The members are Judith Mbula Behemuka, Justice (Rtd) Philip J. Ransley, Surinder Kapila, Beauttah Alukhava Siganga, Grace Barbara Ngele Madoka and Mugambi Jesse Ndwiga Kanyua.
Lawyers Valeria Onyango (Lead Counsel) and Gideon Solonka Kilakoi (Assisting Counsel) were appointed to aid the tribunal.
Kerubo accused the former Deputy CJ of allegedly pinching her nose and threatening to shoot her when she pursued her to demand that the suspended DCJ undergoes a routine security check.