Principal Magistrate Khaemba resigns after suspension over involvement in Waititu case

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Brian Khaemba has resigned from his post as Principal Magistrate. Photo/Courtesy
Brian Khaemba has resigned from his post as Principal Magistrate. Photo/Courtesy

Kiambu Principal Magistrate Bryan Khaemba has resigned after Chief Justice David Maraga suspended him for his conduct after his involvement in Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu’s graft case. The Kiambu Governor is on the spot with the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) investigating the irregular award of tenders valued at Kshs 588 to companies associated with the Governor and his family. He was taken in by EACC detectives for questioning after his three homes were raided. He managed to obtain an anticipatory bail on May 23rd of Kshs 500,000 after moving to the Kiambu Law Courts in a bid to stop an arrest.

The Principal Magistrate who gave the bail was Brian Khaemba, and he ordered that the order be served to the EACC. However, it was noted that the Magistrate was on sick off that day and only appeared in court to hear the application and afterwards he proceeded with his sick off. The anti-graft body then lodged a complaint to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) concerning the matter, saying the Magistrate may have had an interest given that he cut short his sick off to only attend to the matter yet there were other judicial officers.

On Thursday, Chief Justice Maraga suspended the magistrate, “It was public knowledge that Mr. Khaemba was on sick leave as the same was announced to litigants during the morning briefing,” read the letter to Khaemba from the CJ. He was directed to file a response within 14 days. Further, it was outlined that during his suspension, he was to receive a nil salary, hand over all government property in his possession to the Chief Magistrate, Kiambu Law Courts and report there every Friday.

Khaemba has therefore resigned and has denied claims that he chose Waititu’s case. He has pointed out that he handled the application on the request of Senior Principal Magistrate Stella Atambo. He said the aspect of a nil salary and that the disciplinary process has no set timelines has contributed to his decision to tender his resignation in order to engage in other income-generating activities.