BY WAHOME THUKU
Declared a liar, a woman whose outlandish actions and runaway rage brought the Judiciary into disrepute and social rogue who brandished gun at an unarmed guard, Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza’s fate appears sealed.
She has ten days to appeal against the unflattering verdict by a judicial tribunal into her conduct, but it remains to be seen if after such an unflattering verdict, she would still want to take this route.
If she does, then her fate would lie with the Supreme Court, which is chaired by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and to which she was Vice President.
However, it is unlikely she would want to undergo the blistering character attack that she weathered during the tribunal, but still again it will still be within her right to try and get back her job, that is literally the doorway to her being Kenya’s first woman CJ.
If she does not appeal, then the President will after the ten days order her removed from office and a fresh process for recruiting a new DCJ, who because of gender-balance rule must also be a woman, started.
But there is another fact that she must have to contend with, which is the guard’s threat yesterday that she wants the Director of Public Prosecutions to open criminal charges against Baraza for physical assault and threats.
Last evening the Director of Public Prosecutions Mr Keriako Tokiko wrote to the tribunal requesting for a copy of its report and proceedings so that he can make a decision on the next move.
This means hers will be one of the costliest altercations ever on Kenyan soil, pitting a security guard and senior judicial official, whose result is her losing the post of DCJ, Vice President of the Supreme Court and Judge of the Supreme Court, and all the string of privileges that come with the office.
What is even more stunning is the tribunal’s verdict that Rebecca Kerubo, whose nose the commissioners determined Baraza pinched with the now infamous restraint ”you should know people”, was a credible witness, and the ‘short-lived’ DCJ the exact opposite, along with her star witness and bodyguard whom the team declared “an unabashed liar’.
Clearly, not only was the recommendation for removal the worst kind of indictment any judicial officer has received in the recent past, but the scale of her crude and roguish behaviour in public even appalled the seven-member tribunal appointed by President Kibaki to investigate her conduct.
And they did not mince words in expressing their findings about her.