Suspended High Court Judge Said Juma Chitembwe has moved to the Supreme Court to block his removal from office as was recommended by a tribunal over gross misconduct.
Chitembwe was probed by a 12-member tribunal chaired by Court of Appeal Judge Mumbi Ngugi which unanimously recommended that he be removed from office after being found guilty of four of the six allegations of misconduct that were leveled against him by the Judicial Service Commission.
The tribunal found him guilty of acquiring a proprietary interest in a land parcel in the Kinondo area of Kwale county which was the subject of a succession case pending before him thus breaching the Judicial Service Code of Conduct for judges.
“There is sufficient evidence to prove that the judge acquired an interest over land parcel No.Kwale/Galu Kinondo/779 through his relative and proxy, Mr Amana Saidi Jirani,” the tribunal said in its findings.
The tribunal also found Chitembwe to have grossly misconducted himself by presiding over a bench in the impeachment case of former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko while being known and closely associated with the county chief who was one of the petitioners.
Chitembwe also held a meeting with Sonko during which he offered legal advice on the viability of an appeal and the proposed grounds of appeal against the judgment that upheld his impeachment.
The tribunal presented its recommendations to President William Ruto last week with Chitembwe having 10 days thereafter to appeal.
And on Monday, the judge notified the Supreme Court of his intention to appeal the recommendations.
“Take notice that the Honourable Justice Said Juma Chitembwe being dissatisfied with the decision/finding of the tribunal, intends to appeal to the Supreme Court against the whole decision/findings that the judge’s conduct was in breach of the Judicial Service Regulations 2020 and amounted to gross misconduct,” Chitembwe said in his notice of appeal drawn by his lawyers P.W. Wena & Company Advocates.