At least ten staff members working in ousted Chief Registrar of Judiciary Gladys Shollei's office may be sent on compulsory leave to allow for the ongoing investigations. The ten face disciplinary action because they were adversely mentioned in the investigations being conducted by the Judicial Service Commission.
"There are no letters out but the obvious is palpable. They are all required to go on leave to allow for the investigations to continue,"said a source involved in the exercise. The staff have since Tuesday been denied access to their offices and have not beendeployed elsewhere or been advised what to do.
All but three of the staff who worked in Shollei's office have been asked to apply for indefinite leave even as the JSC demanded their HR files for consideration and validation. Those spared from compulsory leave are registry clerk Francis Njuguna, assistant legal researcher Stanley Mutuma and clerk Emmanuel Mulanda.
Yesterday, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga met all directors and instructed them to report directly to him. He announced that JSC would appoint an acting Chief Registrar pending recruitment of a new one. The staff facing disciplinary action include legal counsel Nicholas Okemwa, administrators Anne Nyokabi and Brigid Kong'a, counsels Muthoni Njung'e and Lynnet Mwangi, human resource officer Anne Murigi, IT's Hellen Kabira and Ernest Omollo and analyst Mbugua Kabiro.
Finance director Benedict Omollo and Caroline Kabucho and Kennedy Kandet who were recruited as assistant registrars and promoted to senior deputy registrars are also included. Judiciary director of communications Naim Bilal denied claims that the staff had been sent on compulsory leave Shollei is accused of practising discrimination in human resource management by giving her staff special perks, use of cars, refund on utilities, reimbursement of costs, accelerated promotions and payment of salaries which were not commensurate to their job description.
They are alleged to have accessed allowances, per diems, lunch and dinner vouchers in excess of Sh11 million Meanwhile, JSC member Ahmednasir Abdullahi admitted authoring the email that accused Chief Justice Willy Mutunga of spending public money "like he would his private money".
Ahmednasir did not deny accusing the CJ of being a spendthrift, when he appeared before the Citizen TV weekly morning talk show, Cheche. He however accused the Star of "doctoring" the sequence of the emails and "spinning the whole thing to show me as the most powerful man in the judiciary".
He admitted that the "wording" and the "tone" of the emails, which portray him as patronising the CJ, were his. "These are my words," he said when the show's host Udwak Amimo read excerpts from the Star's Monday edition which carried an article of the contents of the email in which he acccuses the CJ of wasting taxpayers' money on "nonsensical" foreign trips and advising on the need to "spend public money like you will do with your private money".
Ahmednasir is the chairman of the finance and administration committee of the JSC. He said Shollei was the face behind the email which he alleged was "accessed criminally" from the CJ's private account. Ahmednasir denied he fraudulently received his practise certificate as alleged by businessman Brian Yongo who has claimed that Ahmednasir forged the certificate of the late Peter Simani in whose firm he claimed he had done his pupillage. Ahmednasir dismissed Brian Yongo as a "charlatan" and questioned the wisdom of Parliament believing his testimony.
"This is rubbish. Who is Yongo? He was neither my classmate nor was he my pupillage master," he said claiming that Simani had written a letter to the Law Society of Kenya setting the record straight before he died in the Westgate Mall terror attack on September 21. Ahmednasir, whose tenure at the JSC ends in December, said he will go for re-election even though the LSK executive committee is opposed to that. "LSK has no role in determining who serves at the JSC. I am still in the race because it is not LSK that will vote but lawyers for the candidate they want."