, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 12 – Judge Joseph Mutava wants the Chief Justice summoned to appear before the tribunal charged with determining his suitability to continue in service in the Judiciary.
Mutava wants Chief Justice Willy Mutunga questioned over his handling of a complaint that contributed to his being sent on suspension and which formed part of the basis of the Judicial Service Commission’s recommendation to the President that a tribunal be formed to investigate him.
Mutava through his lawyer Philip Nyachoti argued that Chief Justice Willy Mutunga should have summoned him himself to get his side of the story on the complaint before escalating it to the Judicial Service Commission for action.
The complaint in question has to do with retired judge Leonard Njagi who has accused Mutava of pressuring him to rule in favour of one Rose Mbithe Mulwa in a property dispute that was before him.
“This was September 6, 2012 and the message was sent to me at 9.27am and it reads ‘HCC,’ that is High Court Civil Case, ‘705 of 2009 Sehit inv (investments) vs Josephine Onyango. I am for plf (plaintiff), Sehit. Thanks.’”
According to the testimony of the Judiciary’s Ombudsman Kennedy Bidali, Mutunga spoke to Njagi on the matter behind closed doors but did not extend the same courtesy to Mutava on discovery of the text message; instead, he recommended that Mutava answer to the JSC.
It is for this that Mutava wants Mutunga to answer.
The David Maraga tribunal will tender its decision on the application on Monday.