Chief Justice hopeful Philip Murgor has accused suspended Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Nelson Havi of trying to embarrass him.
The senior counsel was responding to a query posed during his interview with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Friday.
A concern raised by Havi in his memorandum to the commission on why Murgor was unfit to hold office came up.
Havi raised issues of abuse of office and one where the CJ candidate failed to participate in a tribunal to investigate judges.
To this Murgor said, “This complaint is from Nelson Havi, he has no information nor understanding of what happened. All that he was trying to do was to try and embarrass me.”
Havi had in his memorandum also alleged that on January 15, 2019, Murgor was appointed as a public prosecutor for a period of two years and he took up criminal cases.
According to him, that was a clear case of conflict of interest.
“He would later resign complaining that he had not been given ‘adequate security,” Havi opined.
He also stated that the ‘feeling of self importance and entitlement’ punctuated Murgor’s tenure in every public office he has held meaning ‘he cannot be trusted with the office of Chief Justice.’
In his response, Murgor sought to have Acting CJ Philomena Mwilu and JSC commissioner disqualify herself from the interview panel seeing as she and Havi had a client-advocate relationship.
This he said, was a clear case of conflict of interest.
“Indeed, should Havi’s preferred candidate secure the positions, the public perception will be that he and his client Mwilu had all along been working in collusion to achieve a pre-determined outcome of discrediting some candidates to illegally ensure the success of others,” he said.
Asked whether he is a bully, Murgor told the commission, “It is absolutely false that I am a bully or that I take anything from anyone, but I will plead guilty to one thing; I fight for justice.”
The search for Kenya’s next chief justice will continue next week on Monday.