Chief Justice Willy Mutunga turns down Chief Registrar’s request for time extension

By Machua Koinange

The Judicial Service Commission has refused to grant the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Gladys Shollei, an extension of two weeks to hand in her report on allegations levelled against her.

Instead, the JSC, via an email from the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, who is also its chairman, has indicated that they expect her report by today (October 1) without fail.

Mrs Shollei had written to the Judicial Service Commission about three weeks ago requesting to appear before it on October 15 to present her report on the allegations. She further offered to do so in a public forum. That request has also been turned down.

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Shollei had sent a request for extension of time through the Chief Justice but had not received a response from him by Friday.

Impeccable sources told The Standard that Shollei wanted more time to gather responses from directors of various divisions within the Judiciary who had indicated that they needed four to six weeks to complete their reports.

Since the allegations raised by the JSC related to various functions in the Judiciary, Shollei had asked the tender committee chairman, the directors of finance, procurement, ICT and HR to prepare their respective reports.

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The decision to refuse to grant her more time follows the script of a 31-Point Strategy (TOPS) document revealed exclusively by The Standard that details the eventual removal of Shollei as the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary.

The decision to deny her more time was communicated on September 29, a Sunday, by the Chief Justice. Shollei had put in a request for extension on September 12 and sent a reminder last Sunday.

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Shollei has protested that she was not being given reasonable time to answer the allegations and put together reports from various directors of departments, despite assurances from the Chief Justice that the extension would be granted.

According to the 31-point strategy, the CJ was expected to have dinner with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Justin Muturi, on Friday, September 27.

Dinner

During the dinner, he was expected to impress upon the Speaker to understand that the judicial commission is the main instrument of accountability for the Judiciary to Parliament and that the two need not be at loggerheads.

The CJ was supposed to request the Speaker to “call of his dogs of war.”

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The dinner was also aimed at addressing “patterns of misinterpretations that have been made to Parliament”. Mr Muturi confirmed to The Standard via SMS that he did not have dinner with the CJ that day as he is currently out of the country.

He responded thus to the question on whether he had dinner with the CJ and if changes in the Judiciary were discussed: “No. I left Kenya in the company of my Senate counterpart and my clerk among other officers on Thursday morning. I could not therefore have had dinner with anyone in Kenya on Friday.”

He had indicated in an earlier text message that he was away in the Seychelles.

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Gladys Shollei Willy Mutunga Judicial Service Commission