Kenya: Kiambu Magistrate Resigns After Being Suspended Over a Controversial Bail Ruling

Nairobi — Kiambu Principal Magistrate Brian Khaemba has tendered his resignation after being suspended over gross misconduct.

The magistrate who issued a controversial ruling in May granting Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu an anticipatory bail denied wrongdoing saying he adhered to a High Court decision which he cited in his ruling.

He refuted claims that he handpicked Waititu's application despite having been on sick leave saying the matter was assigned to him by Senior Principal Magistrate, Stella Atambo.

"As I stated in my letter dated June 13, I handled the application on the request of Senior Principal Magistrate, Hon Stella Atambo, who was handling all such applications. This fact has not been denied by the said Hon Atambo," the magistrate stated in a response dated June 14.

Khaemba said given the indefinite timeline the hearing and determination of his disciplinary case could take and the fact that Chief Justice David Maraga had suspended him with no pay; he opted out to engage in other income generating activities.

"Having reflected on the consequences of the suspension letter, especially the aspect of nil salary and the fact that this process has no definite timelines, I have separately tendered by resignation letter to enable me engage in other income generating activities," he wrote.

Maraga had directed Khaemba to file a response within fourteen days pending which he will remain suspended until his disciplinary case is heard and determined.

Khaemba failed to satisfactorily explain why he heard Governor Waititu's application despite having been granted a sick leave, according to Maraga.

"The explanation you gave dated June 6 is unsatisfactory as you had no authority to handle the matter the same having not been allocated to you. In any case, you had no jurisdiction to entertain the matter," Maraga outlined in a letter addressed to Khaemba, dated June 13.

The magistrate was said to have gone to court to exclusively handle the anticipatory bail application despite matters set to come up before him having been adjourned following his request for a sick leave.

Waititu had moved to the court on May 23 to stop detectives from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission from arresting him in a probe involving misappropriation of county funds amounting to Sh 588 million.

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