President Mwai Kibaki is poised to overturn Kenya's reputation as the haven of corruption. On 22 March, he nor only suspended Chief Justice Bernard Chunga from office, but also set up a tribunal to investigate his conduct in accordance with Section 62 of the Kenyan Constitution.
In a gazette notice, the president said the conduct of Justice Chunga ought to be investigated. He listed eight allegations against him, including gross abuse of the rule of law, protection of corrupt judicial officers, misappropriation of public property and land grabbing.
The president said the five-member tribunal, headed by House Speaker Francis ole Kaparo, was free to explore other areas. Two prominent lawyers, John Khaminwa and Mbuthi Garhenji, will help the tribunal. The director of public prosecutions, Pamella Uniter Kidullah, and the deputy clerk of the National Assembly, Patrick Gichuru Gichohi, will be the tribunal's joint secretaries. Though the tribunal was given no time frame, the president said he wanted their recommendations to reach him "expeditiously".
This is the first time in Kenya's history that a tribunal has been set up to probe a chief justice. Its mandate is to investigate Chunga's conduct "before and after his appointment.
The clearest indication that Justice Chunga would be investigated came on 20 February when the new justice minister, Kiraitu Murungi, told parliament that he had enough evidence to set up the tribunal. As he spoke, human rights campaigners had gathered in front of...