NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 3 – Chief Justice Willy Mutunga on Thursday interdicted four senior managers in the Judiciary, among them the Deputy Chief Registrar Kakai Kissinger to allow for investigations into suspected corruption and mismanagement in the institution.
The three other interdicted officers are the Director of Human Resource and Administration Dismas Obondo, the Director of Supply Chain Management Martin Okwata and the ICT Director Thomas Atak.
In a statement, the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary (CRJ) Atieno Amadi said CJ Mutunga took the decision after questions were raised about the four areas they manage.
“The issues in these four areas raise important questions on the competence of officials but also point to steps that must be taken to safeguard public resources.”
“In order to preclude the perception of conflicts of interest in the course of these inquiries, the Chief Justice – being satisfied that the public interest requires that an officer should cease forthwith to exercise the powers and functions of their office – has today interdicted four officials as provided for under the Third Schedule, Section 16, of the Judicial Service Act,” Amadi stated.
The four were directed to, “perform an orderly handover to designated officers,” and to report to Amadi on May 3 for further instructions.
At the time of his interdiction, Kissinger was heading the Judiciary Performance Improvement Project which was charged with court construction and had a Sh10.5 billion budget.
He had taken over from Gladys Shollei as Acting CRJ when she was being investigated by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for mismanagement in the same four areas of procurement, human resource, ICT and the leasing of court infrastructure.
Amadi said Thursday’s interdictions were an extension of those investigations. “Last year, the Judicial Service Commission began inquiries into the legality, regularity, prudence and probity of actions undertaken by judicial staff at various levels of responsibility.”
The JSC sacked Shollei but the Industrial Court later ruled that it acted unfairly and that the Auditor General, the Public Procurement Oversight Authority and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission should have been allowed to carry out independent investigations into the allegations of corruption levelled against her.