Judge That Dismissed Kibaki’s Election Petition On Technicality Interviewed For CJ Position

Mwai Kibaki’s election petition in 1997 has been brought to limelight again.

A member of the three man bench that dismissed Kibaki’s Election petition on a technicality of having not served Moi with the petition directly, is being interviewed for the Chief Justice Position.

Justice Msagha Mbogholi was made to answer questions regarding the bench’s decision. He blamed the provisions of the law at the time.

“I was not alone when we made the decision, but I believe the provisions we relied on have now changed. I don’t think it was the right decision, it is something one regrets and with the current scenario, I would have allowed him to pursue the case”

President Kibaki later won the 2002 elections, and immediately after, set out a committee to investigate the Judicial System.

Kibaki's Election Petition

This policy was meant to rid the Judiciary of corrupt Judges and magistrates.

The committee, chaired by Justice Aaron Ringera, concluded that five Court of Appeal judges, 18 High Court judges and 82 magistrates were corrupt.

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Mbogholi was a victim of Justice Ringera’s cleansing and was deemed unfit to continue serving. The High court Judge spent four years fighting his case and was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

Justice Mbogholi told the Judicial Service Commission on Tuesday that if he occupied the office, there would be ”light at the end of the tunnel for those unfairly sacked”.

He would form a commission to ensure all those who were unfairly dismissed from the judiciary got a fair hearing and appropriate compensation. Some of his colleagues were dismissed on unsubstantial grounds while others were sent home for ambiguous reasons, reports say.

Kibaki's Election Petition

Justice Mbogholi also told the Commission in Nairobi that his main focus will be to retrain judicial officers and inspire public confidence, as well as reduce case backlogs, motivate judicial staff, promote judicial independence and dialogue with other arms of government to avoid conflict of interest.

On the issue of retirement age and tenure of office, Mbogholi said the CJ’s tenure of 10 years was deliberate to avoid complacency.

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He will not extend his years beyond the 70 years limit because five years would be enough for him to ”make the change that will be remembered when I retire”.

He further added that he would like to follow the footsteps of retired Chief Justice Willy Mutunga in implementing the Judiciary transformation agenda.

Justice Mbogholi is currently the longest serving judge having been appointed a judge in 1987. He insisted that experience makes him the best candidate for the position.