Judge recuses himself from Nairobi governorship cases

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A high court judge handling the case of Ann Kananu Mwenda, the nominated Nairobi County Deputy Governor has recused himself from the matter.

Justice  Anthony Mrima directed the matter to be placed before the presiding judge of the constitution division for further orders and directions on 10th February given the urgency of the matter.

“I hereby recuse myself from this matter as well as all the matters on the Governorship of Nairobi County,” ruled the Judge. 

The judge is facing a complaint filed by Bunge La Wananchi president Henry Shitanda before the Judicial Service Commission over his conduct in the matter. Shitanda said the judge was biased.

Among the reasons for his recusal is that the firm of Messrs Kithi & Company Advocates appear in one or so of the petitions. “As I have previously done, I have always recused myself in any matter where the firm of Messrs. Kithi & Company Advocates appear unless for reasons otherwise stated. Given the nature and the history of the petitions in this matter it can only be fair that I opt out of this matter,” ruled the judge.

He added that the filing of a complaint per se does not preclude a court from dealing with the matter as it all depends on the circumstances of the case.

According to the judge, there are instances where, depending on the nature of the matter and in order to enhance public confidence in the administration of justice, a court may consider recusing itself from that particular matter. That is the position I opt for in this matter,” ruled Justice Mrima.

“He, however, made it clear that the said position only applies in the unique circumstances of this matter. “It is not the court’s general position on all the matters it handles. Of further importance is that it can only be prudent that this position applies to all the matters on the leadership of Nairobi County which by now are well over 20 in number,” he added.

He directed that any party desirous of lodging an appeal against this ruling is allowed to do so.  

The Law Society of Kenya moved seeking orders to suspend the decision of the County Assembly made on 15th January 2021 approving the nomination of Anne Kananu Mwenda as the Deputy Governor of Nairobi City County.