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Court dismisses Mbaluto appeal

Former High Court judge Tom Mbaluto has lost his second attempt to challenge his removal from the Bench 10 years ago.

The Court of Appeal has dismissed complaints by the retired judicial officer that he was a victim of an unfair disciplinary process initiated by retired Chief Justice Evan Gicheru and the subsequent trial by a Judicial tribunal in 2003.

Justices Asike-Makhandia, Patrick Kiage and Kathurima M’Inoti said the six allegations that were presented to Mbaluto for the purposes of the tribunal’s proceedings related to his conduct and handling of a land dispute.

Accusations arose from complaints made to the committee and no other extraneous issues were considered by the tribunal, they said.

The five-member tribunal, chaired by High Court judge Jessie Lesiit, recommended to retired President Mwai Kibaki to show Mbaluto the door over corruption, unethical practices and absence of integrity claims on May 2, 2008. He had been appointed to serve in the High Court on April 2, 1986.

The tribunal had indicted the former judge for soliciting Sh50,000 and a bag of millet from farmer Sarara Matongo Sigore to rule in his favour in a 1990 land dispute with Gichambati Mwita Mairo in Kisii. The old man had refused to give the money.

The former judge then reportedly received Sh60,000 from Gichambati at Kisii Club where he was seen by Sarara in the company of Prof Chacha Nyaigoti Chacha.

“The committee found the allegations credible. They disclose corruption and want of integrity and amount to gross misbehaviour,” the tribunal had concluded.

Mbaluto was a casualty of the infamous “2003 radical surgery” of the judiciary conducted by a three-member committee chaired by retired Appellate Judge and anti-corruption chief Aaron Ringera.

The team was formed by retired Chief Justice Evan Gicheru, served between March 19 and September 30, 2003 and knocked out Judges and Magistrates for misconduct.   

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