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JSC goes after MP Peter Salasya over threats to magistrate

The Law Society of Kenya has also called upon the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to arrest the MP.

Chief Justice Martha Koome paid a special courtesy call on the British High Commission on September 15, 2022

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC), chaired by Chief Justice Martha Koome, has initiated investigations into allegations of threats, intimidation, and harassment levelled against a magistrate by Mumias East Member of Parliament, Peter Salasya.

Salasya was ordered by the Kakamega Small Claims Court (SCC) to pay a debt of Sh500,000 owed to a businessman, Robert Lutta, plus accrued interest.

The judgment was delivered by the SCC magistrate Gladys Kiama Nashipai, who dismissed Salasya's counterclaim against paying the debt.

In a statement on November 29, JSC said it took swift action upon receiving information detailing the purported misconduct of the legislator.

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The allegations suggest that Salasya engaged in threatening behaviour towards a magistrate presiding over a case in which he is a party.

The reported incidents occurred both during the court proceedings and following the delivery of the judgment, with formal complaints filed at the Kakamega Central Police Station.

The JSC condemned such acts, emphasizing the paramount importance of maintaining the independence of the Judiciary.

The Constitution of Kenya, enshrined in 2010, explicitly safeguards the autonomy of the Judiciary, stressing that it is only subject to the Constitution and the law, and not under the control or direction of any person or authority.

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The commission underscored that any attempt to interfere with the decisional independence of a judge or judicial officer is a direct violation of the Constitution.

"The Commission has deployed its team to the ground to conduct further investigations and engage the agencies handling the matter with a view of taking appropriate action in line with its mandate," the statement read.

The commission aims to engage with the relevant agencies handling the matter, with the intent of taking appropriate action against the MP.

In a reassurance to all Judges, Judicial Officers, and Staff, the JSC reiterated its commitment to protecting and safeguarding the independence of the Judiciary.

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The Law Society of Kenya has also called upon the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to arrest the MP.

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