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Judiciary needs to re-focus with Shollei saga ended

ERIC-MUTUA-LSKNAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) is now asking the Judiciary to get back to work now that the saga involving sacked Chief Registrar Gladys Shollei is over.

Speaking to Capital FM News on Saturday, LSK Chairman Eric Mutua stressed that the standoff has affected operations at the courts.

“Operations at the Judiciary had nearly ground to a halt as a result of the stalemate between the JSC and Shollei. This was hurting its image and it is commendable that the Commission made this decision. What is remaining now is for the whole situation to be finalised and completed so that normal operations may proceed,” he said.

Shollei was sacked moments after she declined to continue participating in the investigations carried out by the Judicial Service Commission.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said that Shollei had failed to fully cooperate with the commission and instead chose to engage in side shows which were meant to distract the truth.

Mutua on his part urged Shollei to seek restitution from the High Court if she was not satisfied with the decision.

“If Shollei feels that it was not the right decision, she should use the proper channels to address her grievances,” he stated.

He added that it was necessary to ascertain if allowances paid to JSC members were warranted and it not, those culpable asked to refund the monies.

“If the revelations about the Judicial Service Commission allowances are true, then the commissioners should be compelled to make a refund. We agree that the JSC may be culpable, but its shortcomings should be dealt with in the required manner using the correct procedure,” he said.

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Revelations by Shollei showed that members of the JSC allegedly pocketed over Sh125 million in two-and-a-half years through sitting allowances by holding over 400 meetings.

The commissioners were paid an allowance of Sh80,000 per sitting and the Public Service Commission issued an interim circular to the JSC on the perks, with the understanding that the commissioners would meet not more than twice a month.

Shollei said the JSC members pocketed the money after holding 467 meetings over a period of two-and-a- half years instead of the 48 meetings allowed by law.

Shollei appeared before the JSC on Friday morning and sought an adjournment of the proceedings to allow her prepare her defence to the myriad of allegations, but the JSC chaired by Mutunga declined.

She said she will call witnesses from the Judiciary, National Audit Office, Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission and Public Procurement Oversight Authority “to demonstrate that JSC doesn’t have the powers it purports to have.”

In a statement to newsrooms, Shollei said she will move to the High Court to seek determinations on, “inter alia, the open bias of the JSC.”


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