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Justice Njagi Marete loses bid to stop tribunal

Thursday June 20 2019

Njagi Marete

Judge Njagi Marete on January 30, 2017. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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Employment and Labour Court Judge Njagi Marete has lost an application seeking to stop the establishment of a tribunal to probe his conduct.

In a ruling, Justice Maureen Onyango said the judge did not complain of any breach of his rights and fundamental freedoms under the Bill of Rights.

She said Justice Marete’s only issue was that the matters giving rise to the complaint against him, were done in exercise of his duties as a judicial officer and which can only be questioned by an appeal.

Justice Onyango further said the court cannot stop the Judicial Service Commission from petitioning President Kenyatta from forming the tribunal because once the Commission completed its work, the matter was no longer before it.

“Having already finalised its mandate under Article 168, I agree with the respondent that it is functus officio. It has no further role in the matter. What remains is for the President to appoint a tribunal,” the Judge said.

Justice Marete through lawyer Gitobu Imanyara wanted the court to stop the formation of the tribunal, pending the determination of his petition.

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The complaint against Justice Marete was filed by Kenya Tea Growers Association in a matter involving the Kenya Plantations and Agricultural Workers Union and other parties.

It was alleged that while aware that the case had been handled by another judge, Justice Marete went ahead and issued orders which had the effect of setting aside the orders of a fellow judge.

Justice Marete, however, disputed the claims saying that the orders related to two different applications. He said while he issued orders stopping the employer from issuing letters to the striking workers while sitting in Kericho, Justice Monicah Mbaru, who was sitting in Nairobi was another case.

He said he explained the same to the JSC and the circumstances under which he issued the orders. The Judge said in the petition that the determination was made to the best of his ability and in good faith, transferred the matter to Nairobi.

He said while making the orders he exercised his unfettered judicial authority and discretion in so doing, he is not subject to the control or direction of any person or authority.