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Mixed reactions as Uhuru suspends judge over mental incapacity

A debate has ensued on social media following the suspension of High Court Judge Mary Muthoni Gitumbi over alleged mental health issues.

The judge’s job is on the edge after the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) recommended her removal over mental incapacity.

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Following the JSC recommendations, President Uhuru Kenyatta suspended Gitumbi and formed a tribunal chaired by Lady Justice Omondi Hellen Amolo to look into the matter.

“The mandate of the tribunal shall be: To consider the Petition on removal of the Hon. Lady Justice Mary Muthoni Gitumbi from office on the reason of her inability to perform the functions of office arising from mental incapacity under Article 168 (1) (a),” the Gazette notice reads.

The development has since sparked a debate with a section of Kenyans on Twitter arguing that JSC should have found other ways to resolve the matter.

On the other hand, others felt it was necessary to act according to the constitution.

Reactions

@FidelFidel6: Mental health continues to rear its ugly head and the discussion should be given much more seriousness. Justice Mary Gitumbi is the latest. Those calling for it to be handled out of the limelight are simply saying let’s sweep mental health under the carpet. No. Let’s discuss it openly

@akhanyalabandu: Concern that Justice Mary Gitumbi, who President Uhuru Kenyatta has suspended over “mental incapacity”, may have made judgements while unwell! Mental health should now be a priority. Am worried though, what happens to judgements she made when not stable?

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@DavidMMaina: Mt Kenya is suffering the worst mental health in the country – 181 suicides in three months (Kenya Police). Families are losing homes, businesses and jobs. Justice Mary Gitumbi deserves her dignity

@kipmurkomen: There is now a greater realisation that mental health is of grave concern to many in our country and the world. I wish @CJMarthaKoome, @jsckenya, @StateHouseKenya & the family of Justice Mary Gitumbi would find another way of dealing with her suitability to hold public office

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