Two of them have been inactive as far back as 2009!
Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed advocates listed as “inactive” by the Law Society of Kenya to probe Ethics and Anti Corruption Commissioners – Mumo Matemu and Irene Keino.
Section 251 of the Constitution details how a member of an independent commission may be removed from office. It provides for the President to name a tribunal to investigate allegations against a member. It says inter alia:
251(5) The tribunal shall consist of—
(a) a person who holds or has held office as a judge of a superior court, who shall be the chairperson;
(b) at least two persons who are qualified to be appointed as High Court judges; and
(c) one other member who is qualified to assess the facts in respect of the particular ground for removal.
The President then named:
- Justice Jonathan Bowen Havelock
- Mr. Issa Mansur Muathe
- Mr. Juster Nkirote Nkoroi
- Margaret Wambui Ngugi Shava
In what is becoming a clear ploy to hide the GEMA identity of Public Jobs Appointees, Margaret Wambui Ngugi Shava is simply listed as “Margaret Shava”. The middle names that would identify her as Kikuyu (from the President’s tribe) are concealed. An examination of the Law Society of Kenya records detailing the status of all Kenyan advocates shows that only Havelock and Muathe are listed as “compliant”. Juster Nkirote and Margaret Wambui Ngugi Shava have been no compliant for the last seven years. Given that one cannot legally practice law in Kenya without being compliant, it raises questions about their qualifications to sit on that tribunal.
Every Kenyan advocate is required to pay for his or her annual practising license. Both Ms. Shava and Mr. Muathe are listed as “inactive” since 2009. It is possible that this inactivity goes to a period long before 2009. They have obviously not paid their annual dues to the Law Society for the same period. It is unlikely that they have been practising law legitimately if they have not been compliant and are listed as “inactive”. How then did she qualify to be appointed to the Commission? Do they meet the minimum requirements to be appointed judges of the high court?
(5) Each judge of the High Court shall be appointed from among persons who have
(a) at least ten years’ experience as a superior court judge or professionally qualified magistrate; or
(b) at least ten years’ experience as a distinguished academic or legal practitioner or such experience in other relevant legal field; or
(c) held the qualifications specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) for a period amounting, in the aggregate, to ten years.
Apparently the Law Society of Kenya has an Advocates Benevolent Association. Both Shava and Nkoroi are listed as “unpaid”.
I want to take a guess that apart from Justice Havelock ALL the other members of the so called tribunal are GEMA. There is no doubt that Ms. Shava is an ethnic Kikuyu while both Juster Nkirote Nkoroi and Issa Muathe are most likely from Meru. That makes Justice Havelock a mere shell as he is greatly outnumbered by GEMA. The reasons for stuffing the tribunal are no different from the same ones that saw Uhuru Kenyatta dispatch his assistants to blackmail and intimidate female members of the Commission including Keino to resign. One accepted the offer. Keino refused and is now facing the closest you get to a Kangaroo Court.
- Margaret Wambui Ngugi Shava – GEMA
- Juster Nkirote Nkoroi – GEMA
- Issa Muathe – GEMA
I say the deck is stacked against Matemu and Keino.
Here is the Kenya Gazette notice. Notice that the full name of Margaret Wambu Ngugi Shava is not indicated. Muathe’s name has an initial while “Nkirote” is totally removed from Juster Nkirote Nkoroi.