, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) on Thursday asked Parliament to stop interfering with the independence of the Judiciary, following its attempt to probe the circumstances under which Chief Registrar Gladys Shollei was sent on forced leave.
LSK Chairman Eric Mutua said the government had three distinct arms of government and the Legislature had no business interfering with the decisions made by either of the two arms.
He added that the National Assembly must give the two committees, set up by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), space and time to probe Shollei’s matter because their decision cannot be reversed by Parliament.
“We caution Parliament against purporting to review any decision made by the JSC which is a constitutional body under the Judiciary – an arm of Government,” Mutua said.
Shollei appeared before the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee on Wednesday over allegations of malpractices levelled against her by some members of the JSC.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga on Monday announced the decision to send her on leave pending a probe that must be concluded within 15 days.
Mutua added that members of the public must also abstain from discussing the matter until the Committee on Finance and Administration and that of Human Resources Management completes their investigations.
“The committees are probing allegations of malpractices in procurement, employment, administration, financial management and corporate governance of the Judiciary made against the Chief Registrar,” explained Mutua.
“We insist that the rules of natural justice (right to a fair hearing) must be observed for justice not only be done but seen to be done.”
Shollei had been summoned by the Legal Affairs Committee to shed more light on the matter.
The committee had also summoned the JSC which is expected to heed the summons next week.
During the hearings, she revealed that some of the JSC Commissioners were on a witch-hunting mission because she had refused to cave in to their demands.
Among the commissioners she named was Ahmednasir Abdullahi, who has since said he has no grudge against her, Justice Mohammed Warsame and Emily Ominde.