Kiambu Principal Magistrate Bryan Khaemba has reportedly resigned following his indefinite suspension over gross misconduct on Thursday.
In a letter dated June 13, Chief Justice David Maraga suspended the magistrate following recommendations by the Judiciary Ombudsman who questioned how Khaemba handled Governor Ferdinand Waititu’s graft case.
In his response on Friday, Khaemba denied any wrongdoings, adding that his decision to resign is based on the indefinite terms of his suspension.
“Having reflected on the consequences of the suspension letter, especially on the aspect of nil salary and the fact that this process has no definite timelines, I have separately tendered my resignation letter to enable me engage in other income generating activities,” Khaemba said in his letter.
In his resignation, Khaemba stated that his decision will give the Council of the East African Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (EAMJA) a chance to designate another Secretary-General to take over his position.
The magistrate, who was on sick leave, 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. The investigations took a new twist on Wednesday 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.
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, the CJ stated that Khaemba will not be paid and will be required 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.