Home News KEMNAC defends embattled justice Chitembwe

KEMNAC defends embattled justice Chitembwe

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Muslim clerics have defended embattled high court judge Said Chitembwe saying he should not be subjected to a tribunal yet because he has not been accorded enough time to present his case to the Judiciary Service Commission (JSC).

Under the umbrella of the Kenya Muslims National Advisory Council (Kemnac), the imams argued it would be only fair if the petition at the JSC was reopened so that Chitembwe could present all the evidence he has on the case.

Kemnac national chairman Sheikh Juma Ngao claimed Justice Chitembwe was to present more evidence to the JSC but the commission made a recommendation to President Uhuru Kenyatta to appoint a tribunal to try him against charges of gross misconduct.

Addressing a news conference at a Mombasa hotel, Ngao said the council was opposed to the JSC decision and appealed to President Kenyatta not to appoint the tribunal until the judge is allowed time to table all the evidence he has.

“We feel that JSC did not accord Justice Chitembwe a chance to present evidence. The commission rushed in recommending to the president to form a tribunal before hearing the judge’s side of the story. We are urging the president not to form a tribunal because justice Chitembwe has not been heard. We want JSC to apply the law equally to all,” Ngao argued.

Justice Chitembwe is accused of gross misconduct in the hearing of a Malindi succession case.

Ngao was flanked by Kemnac vice-chairman Sheikh Abubakar Amin and members Sheikh Mohamed Dima and Sheikh Amir Zani.

He expressed concern that the JSC public announcement about its findings on justice Chitembwe had adversely affected the judge who is a family man.
Sheikh Amin said they were only demanding fairness for justice Chitembwe by being accorded adequate opportunity to be heard.

“Justice Chitembwe should not be condemned unheard. He should be given a chance to defend himself instead of being rushed to a tribunal,” Amin.

At the same time, Ngao appealed to former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko who forwarded the explosive video to JSC alleging that Justice Chitembwe was involved in gross misconduct to withdraw the petition to foster unity in the Coast region.

He argued that as an aspirant for the Mombasa governor seat, Sonko would stand a better chance if he stopped battling the judge who hails from the region.

“We are asking Sonko to withdraw the petition seeking the removal of justice Chitembwe from office. Failure to do so might spoil his chances of becoming Mombasa governor,” Ngao argued.

He however said Sonko was within his constitutional right to vie for a political seat of his choice anywhere in the country.