, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 16 – The journey to determining the fate of suspended Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza kicks off on Wednesday morning before a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court.
The hearing that will be before Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, Judges Philip Tunoi, Njoki Ndungu, Jackton Ojwang and Smokin Wanjala will start at 10am.
In August, Baraza through her lawyer Kioko Kilukumi appealed against the decision of a tribunal that had been formed to probe her conduct after an altercation with a female security guard at the Village Market on New Year’s Eve.
The tribunal ruled that Baraza’s behaviour amounted to gross misconduct and recommended her removal from office.
The Tribunal which was chaired by former Tanzanian Chief Justice Augustino Ramadhani concluded that Baraza had pinched guard Rebecca Kerubo’s nose, brandished a gun at her and caused disturbance at the Village Market.
Baraza’s appeal is being heard as provided in the Constitution which allowed her ten days within which she could lodge an appeal at the Supreme Court to challenge the Tribunal’s ruling.
The president cannot sack her until the verdict of the Supreme Court.
The Tribunal found that despite a brilliant career in which Baraza made an outstanding contribution to the nation as an advocate and commissioner of the Constitution Review Commission, there were aggravating factors which show she lacked the temperament and ability to perform judicial functions.
Baraza was appointed last year under the new Constitution, as part of wide-ranging reforms.
It was one of the measures that Kenya undertook to restore confidence in the judiciary and following the incident, the tribunal felt Baraza’s continued stay of in office would deter efforts to promote trust and efficient judicial services in the country.