High court stops judicial staff association elections over new rules


High Court has restrained the Kenya Judicial Staff Association from holding their elections scheduled for 21st December pending the hearing and determination of a petition by 10 of its members on new election rules.

Justice Weldon Korir further ruled that the KJSA members should decide on the way forward in their Annual General Meeting also scheduled for 21 December since the court can not extend the terms of the current office bearers beyond the term stipulated in the Association’s constitution.

This is after 10 KJSA members moved to court seeking orders restraining the executive members, Sango Maewa (chairman) Millicent Owino and Linet Murugi from implementing the newly published election rules contained in the notices issued by Owino dated 26th November 2019 pending hearing and determination of the case.

Earlier Justice Weldon Korir had issued orders restraining the said executive members from purporting to implement the newly published election rules contained in the notice issued pending the hearing and determination of the case.

In his ruling, judge Korir added that KJSA members are judiciary employees therefore allowing one of the prayers will mean that the the Chairman is guilty of gross misconduct and disciplinary proceedings can easily be commenced against him.

The petitioners wanted court issue an injunction to Maewa through his agents or associates restraining them from interfering or preventing the petitioners, associates or their agents from accessing venue of the association’s annual general meeting since they accuse him of using goons to do so.

In their petition, Maewa is accused of previously using unorthodox means to run the association and use of ” men in black” and hired goons to reign terror on opponents and prevent members from accessing the venue of annual general meeting and therefore giving the petitioners who have expressed interest in the vacant seats of the NEC of the association reason to doubt their security and fairness of the electoral process.

“As correctly pointed out by counsel for the respondents, there is no evidence adduced in support of the allegation that the 1st respondent uses “men in black” to disrupt and rig elections,” the judge ruled.

The petitioners include Abdikadir Mohamed, Caroline Kajuju, Wairimu Rwenji, Nancy Simiyu, Moses Nzomo, Martin Jagongo, Mohamed Birik, Francis Jackson, Stanford Mwangi and Lindamarine Osudwa.

They also want the court to compel the said executives to provide members’ register and books of account to the applicant for scrutiny before the court or before the election of the subject association is conducted.

The petitioners accuse Owino of issuing a notice to selected social media forums calling for expression of interest for members to vie in the forthcoming national executive council slated for the next general meeting.

“The petitioners are not members or in the event they are members of such forums, they were removed by the administrators at the time of the issuance of the said notice,” said the petitioners.

They argued that pursuant to the notice dated 26th November this year, the respondents have called for election of new KJSA NEC officials on 21st December 2019 to happen alongside the annual general meeting of the subject association based on the “new election rules”.

The said notice purports to introduce new rules of elections and legibility for a candidate for elections contrary to the provisions of article 8(b) of the KJSA constitution that gives such powers to the general assembly to provide for the policy and general elections for the association and therefore election rules constitute the said policies and such powers have, at no time been donated to the National executive committee.