NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15 – The Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Boss Shollei wants her hearing before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Wednesday morning held in public.
In a letter to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga through lawyer Donald Kipkorir, Shollei says the only way she can be assured of a fair hearing is if it’s done in the open.
“It is only a public hearing that guarantees transparency and lets the public have confidence in our judicial institutions. Transparency is the handmaiden of Justice,” Kipkorir stated.
And while stating that Shollei was, “amenable to cross-examinations by the Judicial Service Commission members,” Kipkorir reiterated her position that she is not directly answerable to them on matters finance and procurement.
“Note however that we shall raise issues of jurisdiction, in all its facets in limine, before our client begins her oral submissions,” he emphasised.
In the interim response she submitted to the JSC earlier in the month, Shollei made it clear that while willing to answer questions raised by the JSC, she had no obligation to do so.
“The law clearly stipulates that on matters of procurement, I am answerable directly to the PPOA. Similarly, in matters of financial management I am answerable directly to the National Assembly through the Internal Auditor General at National Treasury,” she submitted.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Shollei is expected to demonstrate that the procurement processes leading up to the leasing of offices at Elgon Place and Rahimtulla, among other premises, was above board and that she showed no bias as the Judiciary’s Human Resource manager.
And should the JSC grant her request, it will be the second time Shollei publicly, providing supporting evidence, defends herself against the corruption charges that saw her sent on compulsory leave in August.
The first time was before the National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee eight weeks ago in testimony that brought to light divisions within the Judiciary and called into question its commitment to reforms.
And given Shollei has already challenged the JSC’s decision to question her financial decisions, restoring confidence in the Judiciary’s ability to independently manage its affairs through the hearings will be a tall order.