Chief Justice David Maraga on Thursday suspended Kiambu Principal Magistrate Brian Khaemba for gross misconduct.
This follows recommendations by the Judiciary Ombudsman on how the magistrate handled graft case against Governor Ferdinand Waititu.
Khaemba had granted the Governor Ksh500, 000 anticipatory bail following his arrest on May 23, eliciting criticism from members of the public.
“Mr Khaemba conducted himself in a manner likely to suggest that he has a personal interest in the matter.
“It was public knowledge that Mr Khaemba was on sick leave as the same was announced to litigants during the morning briefing,” a letter by Mr Maraga to Mr Khaemba reads.
Waititu is accused by the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) of receiving kickbacks through his bank accounts and accounts of companies associated with him, his wife and their daughter.
Preliminary investigations by EACC into the graft allegations indicate that Waititu’s wife Susan Wangari and their daughter Monica Njeri were indeed involved in the Ksh588 million scam.
Following the active investigations by EACC sleuths, Waititu was on Wednesday grilled for the third time.
The investigations took a new twist after EACC quizzed the governor’s entire cabinet.
The inquiry by the ombudsman found the magistrate of engaging in acts that amount to gross misconduct after acting contrary to the Human Resource Policies and Procedures Manual and being in breach of the Judicial Service Code of Conduct and Ethics.
A letter dated June 13, states that the magistrate should face disciplinary action for irregularly granting governor Waititu, who is accused of misappropriating county funds, anticipatory bail.
However, Khaemba was directed to make a response within a period of 14 days, after which disciplinary action will be made against him without any reference being made to him.
“…You were required to explain why in the morning of May 23, whereas you had reported to be unwell and allowed to be away from duty thus necessitating the adjournment of all matters listed before you on that day, you went to court and handled only one matter that had not been allocated to or listed before you,” the letter reads.
During the suspension period, Khaemba will not be paid and was directed to report to the Chief Magistrate, Kiambu Law Courts, every Friday.
Further, Maraga informed Khaemba that his transfer to Thika Law courts has been cancelled and that he’s required to hand over all government property in his possession to the Chief Magistrate, Kiambu Law Courts.