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One judge who stood to answer Tuju

By Kamau Muthoni | October 23rd 2020

Judge Mary Kasanga during her past interview by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for the position of Deputy Chief Justice. [File, Standard]

If High Court's Justice Mary Kasango would have withdrawn from Sh1.6 billion case pitting Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju against East Africa Development Bank (EADB), she would have been the fourth judge to do so.

Tuju's battle has been too hot to handle such that Justice Kasango (pictured) was the last judge standing in the entire commercial division. The file, which moved from her as the head of the division, ended up back in her hands after other judges opted to keep off the case.

Faced with a petition for removal before her employer Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and which was filed by Tuju, she would have thrown in the towel and directed that the file be placed before another judge.

Kasango, however, chose to hold on, terming JSC's petition a stunt to have her out of the way. She said no fear or intimidation would make her crumble into submission of what Tuju wanted.

“The petition for my removal as a judge, presented to the JSC, is nothing short of stage-managed maneuver to get me to recuse myself from hearing this matter. I decline to give in to fear and intimidation directed towards me. I decline to recuse myself from hearing this matter,” she said.

Tuju had complained that she was biased against him. He first complained before JSC, then asked her to withdraw from the case.

EADB, on the other hand, opposed the application, urging her to hold on as her colleagues, Justices Francis Tuiyott, Margaret Muigai and Grace Nzioka had recused themselves out of Tuju’s applications.

Justice Kasango in her seven-page ruling first addressed the politician on her 17 year-practice, saying no litigant had ever complained of her being biased.

And as if the experience was not too convincing, and defending herself, she chose to reprint the oath of office she took in 2003 as a new judge and again in 2010.

Although she declined to let go, her transfer by Chief Justice David Maraga to Kiambu High Court means the ruling was her last verdict in Tuju’s file.

She condemned Tuju to pay the cost of the application to EADB.

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