Judge removed for corruption loses reinstatement appeal

ONE of the most painful periods in Kenya’s judicial history has been re-opened, with an appeal by former judge Tom Mbaluto against his 2008 dismissal from the bench for corruption. The former judge was dismissed after a tribunal sat to hear allegations against him and recommended his removal from office. Dissatisfied with the outcome, however, he has brought two court challenges contesting his removal, the second of which has now been finalized by Kenya’s court of appeal.

By Carmel Rickard

Justice for Malawi’s children

IN a “remarkable breakthrough”, the Malawi high court has come to the rescue of children unlawfully held in adult prisons. Some of the children were imprisoned in a jail where, according to an official 2016 parliamentary report, no food was available to inmates and where blankets were in short supply. Both the Constitution and statue say that children in trouble with the law may only be held in special places of safety or reformatories, and the high court has now ordered the authorities to move the children within 30 days.

Mbulelo Mtati – a bad case of injustice

Carmel Rickard

As I write this I feel deeply ashamed; ashamed of a legal system that delivers unspeakable injustice to a poor man trying to provide his family with a home.

That man is Mbulelo Mtati. He is a cleaner at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. No-one could call him well-off.

In October 2010 he signed a deed of sale to buy a property from sellers Mr and Mrs Bacela. The asking price of R50,000 was to be paid on registration of transfer. That transfer would be passed by the Bacelas’ conveyancer, the respected Grahamstown legal firm, Whitesides.

Land claims backfire as courts rule against communities

FOR everyone involved in or affected by land claims in South Africa, May 2018 must go down as one of the most disastrous months yet in the history of attempted restitution: in every one of the decisions by the land claims court during that month those communities who brought cases to court lost out. So what happened?

By Carmel Rickard

MANY thousands of land claims are still unresolved, and they come only very slowly to court. So it is a striking statistic that of the four cases in which judgment was given last month, the land claims court should, in all of them, find the claimants on the wrong side of the law.

Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority klapped for “violating natural justice”

Carmel Rickard

WHEN the statutory authority supposed to protect an entire country’s capital market including the stock exchange is found to have acted “in total violation of the principles of natural justice” it must mean, at the very least, that the judgment concerned is worth reading.

And indeed it was. This is a case brought against the capital markets authority (CMA) of Kenya by the former chief financial officer of a major supermarket chain, Uchumi. A long-established business, with a wide range of offerings, it is in deep financial trouble, at least in part because of the pressure from new stores out of South Africa and elsewhere.