CJ nominee Martha Koome puts Nelson Havi on the spot
Chief Justice nominee Martha Koome has written to Nelson Havi, the president of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), demanding that he withdraw a memorandum in which he questioned her conduct and impartiality.
P.M Kamaara and Associate Advocates wrote to Mr. Havi on Friday on behalf of Justice Koome, alleging that Mr. Havi’s memorandum to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) was intended to deny the ‘Chief Justice nominee an opportunity to advance her career as a judge and jurist, and forever tarnish and ruin her good reputation.’
According to the lawyers, Justice Koome was ostracized and isolated from her relatives, colleagues, and associates as a result of the accusations, even as she continued to suffer costs, injuries, and damages.
“Since the writing and publication of these offensive words, our client has been shunned, avoided and treated with contempt and suspicion by her peers in the legal fraternity as well as in the Judiciary, not to mention her friends and family members,” the letter reads “she is constantly required to explain herself against these baseless and malicious allegations, and she has incurred losses, damages, expenses, charges and costs”
As a consequence, her lawyers have demanded that Mr. Havi retract and withdraw the memorandum within seven days by writing to the JSC and the LSK.
Mr. Havi must also apologize within seven days by writing to Justice Koome and copying both the LSK and the JSC.
“You Immediately, clearly, unambiguously, unconditionally and unequivocally apologise in writing to our client, such an apology couched in words acceptable by our client be received by ourselves within seven (7) days hereof,” the letter reads.
In addition, following the writing and publication of the memoranda, the LSK president will be required to admit liability for defamation.
“Such admission and Rability couched in words acceptable to our client be received by ourselves within seven (7) days of the date hereof,” the letter stated.
In the memorandum, the LSK President cited three separate cases that were heard in court between 2012 and 2019.
According to Havi, the nominee for Chief Justice was prone to nepotism, favoritism, and improper motive.
He contended that Justice Koome, who had run for Chief Justice twice, had not demonstrated how she had improved her integrity, competence, and suitability for the job.
“It should not be lost to the 35C that Hon. Lady Justice Koome has twice, sought to be appointed as Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice but failed. There is no indication of how Hon. Lady Justice Koome has improved in her integrity, competence and suitability since then for her qualify for either of the two offices she has been shortlisted for interview. In fact, the JSC should carefully consider whether her conduct meets the criterion for removal from office” Mr. Havi stated in the memorandum.
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