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You can audit the Judiciary, CJ Martha Koome tells EACC

By Winfrey Owino | November 3rd 2021

Martha Koome invites EACC to probe corruption in the Judiciary. [File, Standard]

Chief Justice Martha Koome has invited the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to carry out an anti-corruption audit in the Judiciary.

This comes months after two judges of the High Court, Justices Said Chitembwe and Aggrey Muchelule, were taken for questioning by detectives at the DCI on corruption allegations, which CJ Koome claimed she was not aware of.

In a statement dated November 3, the Chief Justice said the proposed audit will focus on the Judiciary’s six departments and was aimed at enhancing public confidence and trust in the Judiciary

“The target areas for review will include: Registry and Records Management, Financial Management, Supply Chain Management, Human Resource, Information Communication and Technology (ICT), and Communication,” her statement read in part.

According to Koome, the leadership of the EACC shared the vision of embracing a proactive approach to the fight against corruption.

The “arrest” of the two judges drew a lot of criticism in the legal sector as anger, condemnation and shock greeted the situation. Some condemned the move by the DCI as others distanced themselves from the events.

In his response, the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti alleged that detectives recovered Sh5.7 million from a woman who they claim was to deliver the cash to judges.

DCI said that detectives raided the judges’ chambers after a tip-off that they were to receive about Sh7 million bribe.

“From the onset, we want to put the record straight that the judges were not arrested or harassed as they claim, but they willingly agreed to accompany us to the DCI headquarters to record their statements over the bribery claims,” an affidavit sworn by the Investigating Officer read in part.

In a bid to clear their names, Justices Muchelule and Chitembwe got a court order stopping the DCI from summoning, arresting or prosecuting them over bribery allegations.

Later on, the High Court extended the temporary orders barring arrest and prosecution of the duo.

The previous orders will remain in force up to February 21, when a case filed by the Kenya Judges and Magistrates Association (KJMA) will be mentioned for directions on hearing.

The judge also allowed the Law Society of Kenya to join the case as an interested party.

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