, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 22 – The Industrial Court has rejected Gladys Boss Shollei’s application to be reinstated as the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary (CRJ) pending the hearing of her wrongful termination suit.
Explaining his ruling, Industrial Court Judge Nduma Nderi said the law provided a three year period within which a person can be reinstated and no irreparable damage had therefore been done.
He also declined to suspend the recruitment of a new CRJ for the reason that the position was simply too important to be left in limbo.
In favour of Shollei however, he found that she had indeed established a prima facie case much to the pleasure of her lawyer Donald Kipkorir.
“It’s a very good ruling because the judge made a finding there was bias,” he told reporters outside the court house on Friday.
He did however state that they would be moving to the Court of Appeal in the coming week to challenge Nderi’s decision not to temporarily reinstate Shollei pending the hearing of her petition.
“We are operating under a new dispensation. In the previous labour laws in this country interim reinstatement was given cautiously. But now we want to develop the jurisprudence in the Court of Appeal,” he explained.
Acting for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), lawyer Paul Muite was cautious not to interpret the ruling but cautioned Kipkorir and his team against getting carried away by prima facie finding.
“Let us wait for hearing of the petition before jumping to conclusions but the ruling given today is pretty self-explanatory,” he told journalist outside the court house.
The hearing of Shollei’s petition will now be heard on January 24 with the Ombudsman expected to file an application to be enjoined as amicus curiae within the next two weeks.
Neither Muite nor Kipkorir voiced any objection to the application.
Shollei’s petition challenging her dismissal was referred to the Industrial Court on November 4 by High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi for the reason that the issues for determination concerned the employer-employee relationship and were therefore better placed before the Industrial Court than a constitutional one.
The petition contends that the JSC did not give her a fair hearing before dismissing her on October 18, that the JSC contravened her right to access information by failing to give her specific reasons for her sacking and that it was not within their purview to lodge investigations against her on the grounds of financial impropriety.
In the petition she also accuses the Chief Justice of having spear headed a charge to eject her from office long before she was first sent on compulsory leave by the JSC, which he chairs, in August.