Salasya denies threatening magistrate, says case is political witch-hunt

Peter Salasya celebrates after he won Mumias East parliamentary seat, August 2022. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Mumias East MP Peter Salasya has told the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) that he did not threaten a magistrate who presided over a case in which he was a party in Kakamega county.

Salasya who addressed Journalists at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi Wednesday said that at the time he was said to have threatened the magistrate he was in Nairobi attending a parliamentary committee meeting and termed the allegations political.

The Mumias East MP promised to abide by the court ruling to pay Sh500,000 that he is said to have been loaned by a friend who took him to court.

However, he said that he will only honour the court ruling to clear his name since the person who is alleging that he loaned him money was not saying the truth.

“I take great exception with the Judicial Service Commission for appearing to condemn me unheard, I have agreed that I will pay Sh 500,000 that I have been ordered by the court since I have realised that there are some people who are engaging in a political war against me,” said Salasya.

The MP asked the JSC to ensure no magistrate serves in one station for more than three years since they familiarise with advocates and litigants which allegedly makes them not to be objective when issuing some judgements.

The JSC issued a press statement yesterday saying they had received information that Salasya has been threatening, intimidating and harassing a magistrate presiding over a case in which he was a party.

The Commission condemned the MP for threatening Kakamega magistrate Gladys Kiama.

"The Constitution of Kenya 2010 entrenches the independence of the Judiciary, which is only subject to the Constitution and the law; and is not subject to the control or direction of any person or authority,” said JSC in a statement.

The JSC said that the persistent threats during the hearing and after the delivery of the judgement have been reported at the Kakamega Central Police Station.

“The commission has deployed its team to the ground to conduct further investigations and engage the agencies handling the matter with a view of taking appropriate action in line with its mandate,” read the JSC statement.

The commission reiterated that the decisional independence of a Judge or judicial officer must be safeguarded at all times and when litigants are aggrieved by the decision of the court they may seek redress through the appellate process.

“Therefore, any attempt to interfere with the independence of the Judiciary, including the decisional independence of any Judge or Judicial Officer is an affront to the Constitution of Kenya, which all state officers, such as Members of Parliament took an oath to protect and defend,” read the statement.

JSC assured judges, judicial officers and staff of its commitment to protect and safeguard the independence of the Judiciary.