21 February 2003

Kenya: Kibaki Appoints Tribunal to Probe Chief Justice Bernard Chunga

Nairobi — President Mwai Kibaki has appointed a tribunal to investigate the conduct of the Chief Justice Bernard Chunga.

The Tribunal consists of Speaker of the National Assembly Francis Kaparo, retired judge of the Court of Appeal Justice Majid Cockar, judge of the Court of Appeal Justice Richard O. Kwach, Chairman Public Service Commission Eng. Abdulahi Sharawe and Senior Counsel Gibson Kamau Kuria.

Following appointment of the tribunal, the Chief Justice has, in accordance with the provisions of Section 62(9) of the Constitution ceased to exercise any of the functions of his office, pending the decision of the tribunal.

Consequently, the President has appointed Justice Evans Gicheru to act as the Chief Justice of Kenya.

The President has also appointed Dr John Khaminwa and Mbuthi Gathenji as counsel to assist the tribunal and P.G. Gichohi and Mrs. Unitter Kidullah as Joint Secretaries of the tribunal.

The President has mandated the tribunal to carry out its task and report to him with expedition.

During his State opening of the 9th Parliament on Tuesday, President Kibaki emphasized that "the integrity and effectiveness of key institutions like the Judiciary are essential to Kenya's recovery. They are key to rebuilding public confidence in the State and enhancing the rule of law. They are critical to the restoration of the rights and freedoms of our people. We shall therefore fundamentally reform the judiciary to ensure that its integrity and independence is once again guaranteed".

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