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Supreme Court upholds Justice Chitembwe’s removal from office

The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by former High Court Judge Said Chitembwe against Judicial Service Commission (JSC) tribunal that recommended his removal from office over allegations of gross misconduct.

The apex court ruled that the tribunal found proof in all of the six allegations levelled against Chitembwe and hence he was properly removed from office.

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“The Tribunal’s recommendation to the President for the Petitioner’s removal from office under Article 168(1)(e) of the Constitution is hereby affirmed,” the ruling reads in part.

The determination was made by Judges; Mohammed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndung’u, Isaac Lenaola and William Ouko.

Chitembwe through lawyers Patrick Ochwa and Peter Wena had challenged the recommendation by the Justice Mumbi Ngugi-led to have him dismissed for gross misconduct.

In the appeal, the former Judge argued that the Tribunal erred in its recommendations urging the court to determine whether the Tribunal had jurisdiction to review the proceedings before the JSC, and whether the Tribunal failed to uphold the doctrine of Judicial independence and immunity.

The Judge also questioned whether the electronic evidence admitted by the Tribunal was unlawfully or illegally procured in violation of the constitution and whether the allegations against the him were proved to the required standard.

However, the Supreme court Judges ruled that the JSC ensured that the proceedings before it were conducted in accordance with the law and there was no basis upon which to conclude that the JSC violated the petitioner’s right to fair administrative action.

Additionally, the Court found that the audio and video recordings produced did not contravene the Chitembwe’s right to privacy under and their admission into evidence did not render the inquiry before the Tribunal detrimental to the administration of justice.

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