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Wednesday 18 January 2012

Kenya: Baraza Saga, Only Tribunal Can Reveal the Truth

Much has been said since the December 31 altercation between Kenyan Deputy Chief Justice and Vice-President of the Supreme Court Ms Nancy Baraza and a security guard Ms Rebecca Kerubo. It cannot be gainsaid that whereas the law provides that one is innocent until proven guilty, Justice Baraza has been subjected to a lynch mob, before her side of the story is heard. The media as well as civil society organizations, save for the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA)-Kenya Chapter which she once served as the Executive Director, have been calling for her resignation. Whereas we cannot dispute the fact that there was pandemonium following Justice Baraza’s refusal to undergo a security check, inconsistencies abound as to whether a gun was used during the confrontation. Even the CCTV footage did not capture the so called gun scene.

Under the circumstances, truth will only be established once a tribunal is set up to investigate Justice Baraza’s conduct, as recommended by the Judicial Service Commission’s sub-committee.  It is not lost on observers that several judges have appeared before such tribunals and cleared of any wrong doing. It is therefore premature at this stage to conclude that Justice Baraza’s stint at the Judiciary is over.

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