Rebecca Kerubo will go down in history as the security guard that brought to an end the career of a newly appointed Deputy Chief Justice. Just by her insistence on performing her job, Kerubo exposed the con that we had all bought, that this particular DCJ was an embodiment of excellence in virtue, integrity, and sobriety fitting for a Judge of the Supreme Court of Kenya.
In fact Rebecca Kerubo should be given a medal of honor, a state party and fêted as one of Kenya’s great mashujaas. Indeed, Dame Beatrice Kerubo is a fitting title for this humble security guard. She did what the JSC, the CIOC and Parliament were unable to do, she tested the character and person of the Deputy Chief Justice, and she found her wanting.
If you recall the debacle of a vetting process that was conducted in the public limelight, not once was the temperament or attitude of Nancy Baraza ever brought into question. Indeed the most crucial question to the CIOC was the question of Ms. Baraza’s divorce and her sexual orientation. It was during this fiasco, that our nation was brought to the brink of disaster by an incompetent and inept panel of trivial politicians, whose main goal during the vetting process was to create a veil of scandalous questioning that appeared to merely humiliate rather than actually reveal what was key, moral and imperative to the particular office. Never once was the matter of judicial integrity, honesty or respect for citizenry ever brought up.
Of course, there is the issue of whether such character traits can be measured or weighed during a public vetting, as parliament once debated, “how does one put an objective parameter to passion?” nonetheless, the prima facie case stands as such. After passing all the light testing, easy but ridiculous questioning and gaining the appointment to one of the senior most posts in the Judiciary, barely 6 months later the incumbent is proved an egotistical, manipulative, lying and disgusting hypocrite. Were it not for a humble security guard, this is the person who would have presided over judicial matters in Kenya to the detriment of the entire nation.
It is more than a concerning matter, that we have created a situation where the post of the Deputy Chief Justice must now go to a woman. It is worse, that the previous holder of this post was actually the best selected from the women who applied, yet has disappointed us so greatly. We must challenge such retrogressive gender equality measures. In as much as women’s empowerment is key to evolving a better society, surely we must also look for women who excel far beyond what their peers both male and female have achieved in order to appoint them to such a top post.
If there is one thing that this case has exposed to the world it is the matter of a Judiciary that is not independent. In this, Ms. Baraza is right in withdrawing her appeal and resigning, on grounds that panel of judges was rigged against her. The judges were always rigged though, even at the time of her appointment. When the Chief Justice selects judges he knows are not impartial or has particular leanings and puts them in an appeals panel that is a display of a lack of independence.
Indeed, it is a disturbing matter, when the Deputy Chief Justice herself has no faith in the Judiciary. Already, she had been put through a tribunal hearing and exposed, and though she initially felt confident enough to appeal to her colleagues, she realized that it would not be a fair trial because of how the panel was constituted.
How then can we, the ordinary citizen trust this same judiciary that is not trusted even by its former members? How can we have confidence in the next Deputy Chief Justice, if the methods of selection remain the same? Where will we find another Dame Kerubo to save us from arrogant judges who can even whip out a gun to avoid a security check?
Were it not for a Security Guard, a very immoral person would be sitting on the bench in the Supreme Court. Were it not for her arrogance, Nancy Baraza would not have exposed the rigging that occurs on judicial panels. We must thank the gods for small mercies of ridiculous dramas that lead us to uncomfortable truths. There is something very wrong with our Judiciary and the methods with which we select our Judges and it needs to be looked into quite fast. This is the reason why a Judge can make an unconstitutional ruling against a constitutional body and still sit on that bench. It’s time we took these matters very seriously.