Magistrates sacked over temper, language and the tipple

July 15, 2014 3:52 pm
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One of the magistrates was found to have been drawing two salaries, including from the Lands Ministry, under unexplained circumstances/FILE
One of the magistrates was found to have been drawing two salaries, including from the Lands Ministry, under unexplained circumstances/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, July 15 – Three magistrates have been found unsuitable to continue serving in the Judiciary by the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board which cited various reasons, including high temper.

Innocent Maisiba, Sogomo Gathogo and Isaack Orenge were dismissed by the board after complaints raised against them ranging from drunkenness, language inefficiency and short temper.

One of the magistrates was found to have been drawing two salaries, including from the Lands Ministry, under unexplained circumstances.

“The Board notes that the main themes arising in the vetting at this stage are; competency, propriety, large unexplained bank deposits, poor writing skills and lack of internal independence,” according to a statement by the Sharad Rao-led vetting board.

“The Board notes that in several instances the competency levels are wanting. The Judicial Training Institute now offers training to its judicial officers. However some officers have still not attained the requisite standards.”

About Gathogo, the board “was concerned with the language used by the magistrate. He uses abusive and derogatory language. The general impression that the Board had from his interview was that the magistrate was short tempered and abrasive.”

“The Board felt that he easily lost his objectivity in circumstances where he felt that he was being challenged. Instead of responding with composure and an open mind to legitimate questions raised about his conduct he would retreat into an obdurate defensive/aggressive mode, personalise his response, and fail to manifest the serenity and objectivity required of a magistrate. He gave long rambling answers to simple questions of judicial morality.”

For Masiba, the board “examined the magistrate’s past work record. The Board finds that the magistrate record keeping is wanting. The magistrate’s court records are incomplete and confusing.”

Orenge was found to be earning from two sources with the board saying “that while earning the Lands salary, the magistrate also drew salary advances from Judiciary, so technically he was earning a double salary.”

“The Board also notes that he converted the irregularly earned salary to his own use. That when he began earning from the Judiciary he never refunded the money he had wrongfully received. Indeed he used the money and went underground.”

“The Ministry of Lands tracked him in 2010 two years later and asked him to pay, and he still did not pay. It took the intervention of the judiciary to cause him to pay.”

The chairperson of the Vetting Board, Sharad Rao said 38 other magistrates were cleared for maintaining a commendable track record in their work.

Among those who were cleared were James Macharia Muriuki, Orwa Jacinta Atieno, Aloyce Peter Ndege, Benson Nyaga Ireri and Ezekiel Obina Angaga.

Others in the list of 38 include Samson Temu Omaiyo, Kituku Justus Mulei, Mesa Linus Nyakundi and Muchangi David Ireri.

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