Magistrate first casualty as Mwilu hits the ground

Friday, January 15th, 2021 00:00 |
Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu. Photo/Courtesy

Kiambu Senior Principal Magistrate Theresa Nyangena has been suspended from duty over accusations of gross misconduct and neglect of work.  

In the suspension letter served to her on January 13 and signed by acting Chief Justice, Lady Justice  Philomena Mwilu, the magistrate was asked to show cause why she should not be dismissed from service.

The magistrate was at the same time ordered not to report to duty until her disciplinary case is heard and determined.

The move comes in the wake of complaints by litigants and lawyers over delays by the magistrate in making rulings and the manner in which she conducts court business.

Prior to the suspension, Nyangena had postponed four times, a ruling in a case in which Thika-based businessman Victor Maina and an advocate Muriuki Ngunjiri, have denied forging documents in the sale of a parcel of land belonging to former Gatundu North MP Patrick Muiruri.

Similarly, Senior State Counsel Catherine Mwaniki had in May 2019, sought to have Nyangena disqualify herself from hearing a murder case against city lawyer Assa Nyakundi, claiming she was biased.

Justice Mwilu while taking the action on the magistrate, just days after she took over office from David Maraga, referred to a letter by the Registrar Magistrates Courts on October 16, 2020 in relation to complaints on Nyangena’s court attendance and performance.

   “It has been reported that you have neglected your work as a judicial officer. Your conduct has affected service delivery at the station” Mwilu wrote. 

Meanwhile Mwilu has warned that corrupt Judiciary officials sabotaging the e-filing system launched last year will not be spared.

“It is a pity that we are talking about E-filing system in the 21st century.  We have learnt that some of the staff are sabotaging the system and let them be warned,” said Mwilu.

Mwilu who spoke when he toured Mombasa Law Court yesterday said she will strive to ensure the E-Filing system is a success in the country. — Additional reporting by Monica Kagia

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