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April 15, 2021 | Justice Marete D. K. Njagi appearing before the JSC for his interview for the position of Chief Justice/Judiciary Media Service

Kenya

Judge Marete terms ‘inexact’ mental disability inscription a non-issue

Justice Marete who was appearing before the Judicial Service Commission panel interviewing candidates shortlisted for the position of Chief Justice, said the nature of the disability was listed erroneously.

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 15 — Labour Court judge Njagi Marete was Thursday questioned his registration by the National Council for Persons with Disabilities in 2015 as a person with mental challenges.

Justice Marete who was appearing before the Judicial Service Commission panel interviewing candidates shortlisted for the position of Chief Justice, said the nature of the disability was listed erroneously.

Marete however clarified that he had a visual and a diabetic condition.

“No, I have no mental issues. There was an error on my card and I have never had the time to correct the issue. When  I applied for the card at the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, I highlighted that I have visual disability and Diabetes from time to time,” he told the panelists.

He termed the mental disability inscription a ‘non issue’ but acknowledged being aware about it since 2015 although he, “never got the time to rectify.”

“It never occurred to me that it would come to haunt me. I am a workaholic and have been so busy, peripheral issues like those didn’t bother me but I will amend it instantly,” he said when questioned by commissioner Felix Koskei.

 The Employment and Labour Relations Court judge was further put to task over an impasse with the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary over his dislike for police drivers.

Marete noted that owing to his condition and rigid schedule, he prefers civilian drivers who he said are easy to manage.

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He said he had successfully requested the Judiciary to hire a civilian driver identified as  Mwangi on a contract basis but he was never fully employed prompting him to leave.

Marete noted he had stints with police drivers whom he described as very impatient. Since their departure, the judge hired a driver out of his own resources.

“One lasted a day with me; another lasted a week while the best lasted three months. They are impatient and all left, the reason why they left, I do not know,” he said.

“From 2014, I have been paying my drivers,” the judge said.

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