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Shollei saga tells of state of judiciary

29 August 2013, 12:52 Paul Orodi

When a party in a suit that is before the court decides to settle the matter out of court there are two things that have forced them to take that decision. It is either that the facts are completely against them or they fear the tarnishing of their image and reputation through exposure of their acts and characters.

Between the two consequences, we as Kenyans are yet to know what exactly has compelled the Judicial Service Commission to seek an out of court agreement with the suspended chief registrar Gladys Boss Shollei, the first judicial registrar in Kenya, was sent on compulsory leave after allegations were levelled against her by her employer.

Gloves off

Much to the surprise of Kenyans, upon being summoned to appear before the Parliamentary committee on justice and legal affairs, Shollei spilled the beans on the happenings within the JSC.

The former UNEP advisor of maritime laws left nothing under wraps when she went to  lengths of mentioning names of commissioners who were constantly on her case, taunting her for not heeding to their personal requests.

However, instead of acting on the allegations brought against them by the accomplished lawyer, the commissioners decided to play soft ball and rubbish the claims. As it turns out their move to start an investigation against Shollei hit a snug when the suspended chief registrar moved to court seeking to bar the commission from carrying out any investigations.

Out of court settlement

With the court rulling in her favor, the JSC now looks to be in the open as notice of summons to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on justice and legal affairs has been sent to the commissioners.

With the heat intensifying and careers facing the possibility of being thrown in limbo, the JSC has reconsidered its hard stance on the suspended chief registrar. This was evidenced by the move to have the case between Shollei and the JSC settled amicably out of court.

Already the image of the judiciary is in question and particularly the JSC members. Many Kenyans have shown support for the suspended judicial administrator and this has been evidenced by the massive trend on social media that is backing the registrar to resume her post and continue with the reform agenda.

After looking at all these scenarios play out it is evident that the JSC and the judiciary as a whole needs a clean audit by an agency that is competent on matters dealing with corruption, missmanagement of funds, abuse of office and impunity.

My opinion would be that the office of the ombudsman and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption agency be put to task to investigate the whole melee that is causing unrest within the justice corridors and come up with comprehensive conclusions.

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