NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 – High Court judge David Maraga has opted to undergo the vetting process in public.
In letter to The Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board, Maraga says he has reversed his earlier decision to be vetted in camera.
“You will recall that in my first response I opted for a hearing in camera but in view of the bribery and tribal allegations later made against me, I now would like my vetting to be in public,’’ reads the letter.
Justice Maraga is scheduled to appear before the Sharad Rao-led team on Wednesday at 11.30am.
He becomes the second judge to opt for open scrutiny after Martha Koome requested the same route as the judicial officers undergo a constitutional requirement of being vetted in a bid to rid the Judiciary of sleaze and poor public image.
Justice Koome appeared before the vetting board on May 2 during which she was presented with six complaints mainly centered on her competence.
“For the nine years I have served as a judge, I have never harassed a litigant. There has never been an investigation on such allegations. I am the last person to harass anybody; I give all my time,” she asserted.
She further argued that she was competent and gave examples of hard cases she had handled and given befitting rulings.
Royal Media Services chairman SK Macharia appeared before the board to complain over Koome’s handling of a land dispute involving his wife.
Macharia was however taken to task by Koome’s counsel George Oraro based on documents filed in the case which was handled by Koome.
Koome who started serving in the High Court in 2003 proposed for adoption of case management strategies to set up timelines by when cases should be completed to cut down on unnecessary delays.
One of the complaints against Koome was however set to be heard on a different day after the board agreed that it was necessary for the parties to physically appear before it.
Since the case involved minors, the board found it inappropriate to have it heard in public which Koome and her counsel concurred with.
Her vetting will continue on May, 17 when her competence and integrity will be tested in accordance with the provisions of Article 73 of the Constitution and section 18 of the Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Act, 2011.