Just a few days after she was sent parking, The former Registrar of the Judiciary, Ms Gladys Boss Shollei, came out on Monday to declare her innocence over allegations of impropriety that have been leveled against her.
In a press conference, Shollei Mrs Shollei accused the Judicial Service Commission and Chief Justice Dr Mutunga of subjecting her to a “kangaroo court.”
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga while issuing a press statement during the sacking of Shollei said a verdict had been reached by the Judicial Service Commission to remove her from office after two months of investigations into allegations of financial impropriety.
The JSC accused Shollei of “incompetence, misbehaviour, violation of prescribed code of conduct for judicial officers, violation of Chapter 6 and Article 32 of the Constitution of Kenya and insubordination.” The Chief Justice told a news conference that the move was taken “to avoid politicizing the matter or sensationalism of what it viewed as an internal disciplinary process.”
In her defense,Mrs Shollei on Monday said that no money was lost in the numerous transactions that the JSC has raised questions about. She also said there has been no corruption in the Judiciary.
Shollei said contrary to what her former employer said last Friday, she did not admit to any of the 33 allegations against her in which it was alleged that Sh1.7 billion “was at risk or has been lost”.
No sooner had she finished addressing a press conference at the Hotel InterContinental in Nairobi than the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga reacted said the time had come for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) “to begin telling truths” about her (Shollei).
This begs the question, who is fooling who between the Judicial Service Commission and Gladys Shollei? While the chief justice says Shollei admitted to the charges leveled against her, Shollei on the other hand disputed this. What message is the Kenyan judiciary trying to send to Kenyans with this counter attacks.
When Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, Kenyan had so much hope in the Judiciary, they thought he would bring sanity in the Judiciary. I am not trying to attack the chief justice in any way but the Gladys Boss Shollei versus JSC saga exposes the sacrosanct judiciary for what it is. It seems like the JSC is made up of some individuals who are averse to criticism when directed at them. What image are they trying to create?
Both the JSC and Shollei must be investigated. Kenyans want to know what is really going on.
The Chief Justice said findings on the allegations against Mrs Shollei would be posted on the Judiciary’s website (www.judiciary.go.ke) on Tuesday. According to him, The conclusions made so far are from the JSC’s internal investigations and he expects the truth would unravel as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and other agencies start working on the case.
Parliament has also turned its spotlight on the Judiciary. The Public Accounts Committee has ordered the Auditor General to conduct a special audit of the Judiciary in regard to the reports that some Sh80 million has been lost, that allowances paid are well beyond the set limits and that there have been large salary advances.
Both the CJ and Mrs Shollei also said they had invited the EACC to investigate the matter. As the drama continues to unfold, Kenyans will be waiting to see what the Judiciary is really made of and who is fooling who between the Judiciary and Ms. Gladys Boss Shollei.
By Nixon Kanali, Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, Nairobi