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Tribunal recommends removal of judge who’d been axed in ‘radical surgery’

The tribunal appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to investigate the conduct of justice Martin Mati Muya has recommended his removal from the bench.

President Kenyatta received the tribunal’s report on Friday, March 20.

“The unanimous finding of the tribunal was that the allegations against the Judge have been proven. Accordingly, the tribunal unanimously recommended the removal of Justice Martin Mati Muya from the Office of Judge of the High Court of Kenya,” State House said in a statement.

The tribunal was initiated following a petition by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) addressed to Uhuru on May 8 last year to investigate allegations of gross misconduct or misbehaviour on the part of Justice Muya.

“The unanimous finding of the tribunal was that the allegations against the Judge have been proven. Accordingly, the tribunal unanimously recommended the removal of Muya from the office of judge of the High Court of Kenya,” the statement read in part.

The tribunal was chaired by Justice (Rtd.) Alnashir Visram with justice Lucy Kambuni as the Vice-Chairperson.

Members of the tribunal included retired judge Festus Azangalala, lawyers Ambrose Weda, Andrew Bahati Mwamuye, Sylvia Wanjiku Muchiri and Amina Abdalla.

Serving as the lead assisting counsel

Others were Paul Nyamodi who was serving as the lead assisting counsel to the tribunal assisted by Stella Munyi, and joint secretaries Peter Kariuki and Josiah Musili.

JSC recommended investigations into Muya who worked at the Bomet High Court after NIC Bank lodged a complaint against him.

Muya was among the 83 magistrates dismissed on the recommendation of the justice [retired] Aaron Ringera led tribunal that carried out the “radical surgery” of the judiciary in 2003.

But he later filed an appeal, got cleared of graft accusations, reinstated and appointed a high court judge.

Police shot and deflated the judge’s car’s rear tyres on August 27 last year suspecting he had been hijacked.

His wife Haureliwa Mbulwa had reported him missing at the Kilimani Police station.

Mbulwa had told police that she had talked to her husband on phone the previous night and he indicated he was heading to their residence along Dennis Pritt road at about 10pm.

She had claimed she waited until 4am but the judge did not get home. Calls to his phone went unanswered, according to a report filed at Kilimani police station by Mbulwa.

The matter was reported to police after the judge’s son Benjamin Mati monitored his car’s movement on phone and noticed a suspicious movement from one point to another within Nairobi.

The family suspected he had been carjacked. Police circulated the car’s registration numbers and a search ensued.

The vehicle was spotted in Kileleshwa area where police shot at its tyres to immobilise it suspecting he had been carjacked.

Muya was, however, found alone in the car and very drunk. The judge denied being carjacked. His car was towed to Kilimani police station.