, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 21 – The Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Boss Shollei took no prisoners when she appeared before the National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
She threw some of her colleagues in the Judicial Service Commissioners (JSC) under the bus, saying they are responsible for her current predicament which has seen her been sent on compulsory leave following allegations of malpractice.
Shollei named JSC members Ahmednasir Abdullahi, Emily Ominde and Mohammed Warsame as her biggest detractors in the Judiciary.
“I’m fighting for my life; I’m not going to hide anything and I will say it and I can repeat this anywhere,” she said as she alleged that the three commissioners attempted to arm-twist her into sanctioning underhand deals.
Abdullahi, she said, sought to benefit from the procurement of a property for a Court of Appeal in Mombasa; “I’ve had difficult relations with him in the last several months (over) the whole issue about the Mombasa building.”
Appeals Court judge Warsame, on the other hand, is accused of attempting to influence recruitments in the Judiciary; “Commissioner Warsame has constantly taunted me about hiring people.”
“In fact one time he told me ‘you’ve never hired anybody for me, Mrs Ochieng used to hire 30 people for me whenever I wanted’,” Shollei charged.
In Ominde’s case – she represents magistrates in the JSC – Shollei revealed that they had constantly bumped heads in a show of superiority that forced the Chief Justice to intervene.
“Right from day one when I joined the Judiciary she has fought me. There was even a time that I had to write a letter to her, copied it to the Chief Justice and told the Chief Justice (to) explain to commissioner Ominde my role vis a vis her role.”
“I also did indicate in that letter that you cannot instruct me as an individual commissioner. I get my instructions from a full JSC.”
Shollei aired the dirty linen after the Kisumu West Member of Parliament Olago Aluoch assured her that anything she said could not be used against her outside the confines of the sitting.
Shollei however made it clear that she was out to redeem her reputation and therefore had no apologies to make for dragging Ahmednassir, Ominde and Warsame through the mud.
“Ordinarily I would not say this but I have nothing to lose. They’ve destroyed me and so I will not lie about it because this is something that I can always confirm any time,” she said.
She made no apologies for being a hard task master either, “I’m a no-nonsense manager… my children also know I’m a no nonsense mother. I have very high expectations. Whether it’s of my children, whether it’s of my husband or people I work with in the office.”
And now that even the JSC’s integrity is in question it remains to be seen if they will use the same forum as Shollei did to clear their names. As of Wednesday evening, the commission had said they could not honour Thursday’s summons to appear before the committee.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has also been put in a tough spot over the allegations as Shollei made it clear that he was aware of what the three commissioners were allegedly up to.
He has for a long time been seen as an uncompromising reformer and it will be interesting to see what the blow back of Shollei’s very serious accusations will be.