MPs back bid to probe former JSC members

Report says some members got allowances unprocedurally.

Thursday February 18 2016

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga (centre), flanked by former JSC members, addresses the media at the Supreme Court in Nairobi on October 18, 2013. MPs backed bid to probe ex-JSC members for convening unnecessary meetings to earn fat allowances. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga (centre), flanked by former JSC members, addresses the media at the Supreme Court in Nairobi on October 18, 2013. MPs backed bid to probe ex-JSC members for convening unnecessary meetings to earn fat allowances. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOHN NJAGI
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Members of the National Assembly have adopted a report to investigate some members of the Judicial Service Commission for corruption.

This means the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission will start investigations on members named in the Public Accounts Committee report as having earned allowances irregularly.

Former Chief Registrar Gladys Shollei may also face a fresh investigation after the special audit by the Auditor-General on recommendation of the committee, found that she was answerable for the loss of Sh2.2 billion.

The commission members the report wants investigated, include Supreme Court Judge Smokin Wanjala, Court of Appeal Judge Mohammed Warsame, and commissioners Samuel Kobia, Christine Mango and Emily Ominde, as well as former commissioner Ahmednasir Abdullahi.

“The various commissioners must take personal responsibility for allowances paid to them for attending meetings that were convened without the knowledge and approval of the Chief Justice.

‘‘An audit of all such meetings should be undertaken and responsible commissioners surcharged,” says the report.

The report was moved by committee chairman and Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo on Tuesday.

It also recommended that an audit of payments made to a security consultant, Mr Simiyu Werunga, be done and any excessive amounts paid to him refunded to the Judiciary.

DOORS FOR GRAFT

During the debate, MPs said the massive increase in funding to the Judiciary from Sh3 billion to Sh16 billion in three years and for which it had no capacity or plan of expenditure, opened the doors for graft.

South Mugirango MP Manson Nyamweya said the Judiciary went on a spending spree on receiving the large amount of money, and called for the setting up of structures that would guide the use of funds allocated to the Judiciary.

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