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You should know people: I never said those words

Former Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza has revisited the nose-pinching incident of 2012 that forced her out of office.

During an exclusive interview with Nairobi News on Saturday, the former Deputy CJ explained the circumstances behind her exchange with Ms Rebecca Kerubo – the security guard at the center of the controversy – who at the time claimed that she (Ms Baraza) intimidated and pinched her nose.

Defending her alleged actions, Ms Baraza further denied ever uttering the words “You should know people” adding that their confrontation at the Village Market arose from the fact that she had been instructed that, for security reasons, never to queue anywhere.

“I told her, ‘I want to know you; so why don’t you want to know me?’ So I said it, but it wasn’t in that arrogant manner that it came out,” Ms Baraza said.

By choosing not to line up, she explained, Ms Kerubo may have construed that she bypassed her.

“YOU CAN’T QUEUE”

“But for reasons of having been told at my briefing: ‘you can’t queue’. I am a security risk to the public. I am a danger to the public if I went queuing by virtue of my office,” she explained.

“I wasn’t bragging. I was telling her, ‘I am the Deputy Chief Justice and let me explain the reason I did that’. But I think our communication was not good. One of the lessons I have learnt is that we relate at different levels. Maybe the way I would explain something to Larry Madowo (one of the interviewers) is different from how I would explain to a person like Ms Kerubo. So, Maybe she thought I was rude,” Ms Baraza said.

She also denied allegations that she tried to give money to Ms Baraza to persuade her against pursuing the matter further.

The incident touched off public uproar that eventually forced Ms Baraza to resign after a tribunal, constituted on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, ruled that she had brought disrepute to the judiciary.

The seven-member tribunal recommended that then President Mwai Kibaki fires her but Ms Baraza went to the Supreme Court to appeal against the decision. She would later resign before her case could be heard in full.