Thursday, December 27, 2018

Kenyan judge advocate wins judgment

The High Court of Kenya has handed a considerable victory -- and Sh24 million (~$235,000) -- to Lieutenant-Colonel Moses Lukalu Sande, a judge advocate who was involuntarily dismissed without reasons (and, perhaps more to the point, without the country's president's signature). The officer seems to have been fired in retaliation for not toeing the party line, according to this report in The Daily Nation. He had released information (which the government claims was secret) that helped another member of the Kenya Defence Forces win a court-martial case. Excerpt:
For instance, the court heard, in 2013, the KDF was preparing to initiate court martial proceedings against several servicemen who were accused of breaching various laws. Mr Sande advised that revised regulations for the army at the time had not been effected hence several cases would fall flat on their faces.

His boss and chief of legal services at KDF Kenneth Okoki Dindi viewed this as insubordination, arguing that Mr Sande “resisted instructions from him and continually undermined command maintaining the antagonistic position despite the Act having transitional provisions”.

“During the review of the Armed Forces Act (now repealed) Mr Sande was pushing for amendments that went against the grain of a disciplined force,” Mr Dindi added.

In the same year, ex-soldier Phinhas Mugo was facing seven charges at the court martial court related to losing his duty-assigned weapon, leaving his post before being relieved and absconding work.

KDF prosecutors were caught flat-footed when Mr Mugo’s lawyer, Odera Were, used KDF’s hiring policy at the legal department to challenge the case.

Angered by Mr Were’s knowledge of the policies which appeared to strengthen Mr Mugo’s case, KDF opened investigations into how the information had been acquired.

Court records do not indicate the findings of the probe, but show that Mr Sande had communicated the information to Mr Were.

KDF immediately opted to dismiss Mr Sande, arguing that he shared classified information with an unauthorised individual.
In other words, Lt-Col Sande leaked information about the status of a regulation. No wonder the High Court found the government's action offensive. Let's see if the government takes the matter to the Court of Appeal. Nice reporting work by Brian Wasuna on a disturbing case. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and must be submitted under your real name. Anonymous comments will not be posted (even though the form seems to permit them).