Waititu bail: Kiambu Principal Magistrate Brian Khaemba suspended

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. [Standard]

Chief Justice David Maraga has suspended a magistrate who issued Governor Ferdinand Waititu anticipatory bail orders.

Kiambu Principal Magistrate Brian Khaemba is suspended for gross misconduct following advice from the Judiciary Ombudsman.

“Khaemba conducted himself in a manner likely to suggest that he has a personal interest in the matter.

“It was public knowledge that Khaemba was on sick leave as the same was announced to litigants during the morning briefing,” Maraga says in the suspension letter.

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On May 23, the High Court in Kiambu approved Waititu’s application for anticipatory bail after the Governor was arrested by anti-graft detectives.

Magistrate Khaemba granted the bail after an affidavit was presented to the court by Waititu’s lawyer Ashiolya Biko.

It meant Watitu could not be locked up and instead had to be escorted to a police station by his lawyer where he would be informed of what led to his arrest.

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Waititu had been arrested and taken to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission offices for questioning over corruption allegations in Kiambu County.

The court verdict divided lawyers with some faulting the court's jurisdiction to issue such bail while the other faction believed it was a constitutional decision.

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Nairobi-based lawyer Donald Kipkorir reacted to the turn of events pointing that the Magistrate acted in breach of the Constitution by issuing the bail.

He even stated that the Magistrate should face legal consequences.

"Anticipatory Bail, is an innovative right not in our Constitution but can only be given by the High Court. The alleged Anticipatory Bail given by a Magistrate in Kiambu to Ferdinand Waititu should be torn up & the Magistrate dismissed. High Court has exclusive jurisdiction," he posted on his Twitter page.

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Chief Justice David MaragaKiambu Principal Magistrate Brian KhaembaEthics and Anti-Corruption CommissionKiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu