President Uhuru Kenyatta suspends High Court Judge Mary Muthoni Gitumbi

President Uhuru Kenyatta has suspended Judge Justice Mary Muthoni Gitumbi from office.

In a gazette noticed dated Tuesday, August 23, 2021, President Uhuru directed the immediate suspension of the Environment and Land Court judge over mental incapacity thus her inability to perform the judicial duties.

“I note that the Judicial Service Commission having considered various medical reports was satisfied that a ground for removal of the Hon. Lady Justice Mary Gitumbi, on the reason of her inability to perform the functions of the office arising from mental incapacity under Article 168 (1)(a) of the Constitution had been disclosed,” Uhuru stated.

The head of state further constituted a tribunal to be chaired by Justice Hellen Omondi Omollo to come up with a report on the petition to remove Gitumbi and its recommendation.

The tribunal consist of; Justice Luka Kiprotich Kimaru, Lady Justice Linnet Ndolo,  Peter Munge Murage, Mary Martha Nyakado Bonyo, Dr. Frank Njenga, and Dr. Margaret Othieno Makonyengo.

“The mandate of the tribunal shall be: To consider the Petition on removal of the Hon. Lady Justice Mary Muthoni Gitumbi from office on the reason of her inability to perform the functions of office arising from mental incapacity under Article 168 (1) (a),” read the Gazette Notice.

His directive came following a recommendation by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and various medical reports which suggested that lady Gitumbi was not in good mental health to continue discharging her duties in office.

During her tenue at the Environment and Lands Court, Judge Muthoni made some controversial judgments.

While delivering the verdict on the Lang’ata land saga in 2015, Muthoni awarded the school right to use the disputed land. She declined a request by Airport View Housing Limited to stop further demolition of the perimeter wall around the contested playground or any encroachment on the property.

“Having heard the application, I am not satisfied and decline to issue any interim orders at this juncture since the application can be heard and determined within a short time,” Judge Muthoni ruled.

Her ruling contradicted with an order that was issued by then Education CS Fred Matiang’i and Joseph Nkaissery, ordering the company to bring down the wall and clear the debris within 24 hours.

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    Written by Kennedy Omondi

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