By Tony Mukere
Fire spitting American civil rights Malcolm X once remarked that the media has the power to make the innocent look guilty and the guilty to look innocent in the court of public opinion. The case pitting Gladys Boss Shollei against the Judicial Service Commission is a perfect example of what X talked about.
Since the accusations facing her were first brought to the foe, Shollei has used her well known connections in the media to shift blame from one corner to the other without responding to the integrity issues raised by the JSC.
When the JSC first sat to discuss whether or not Shollei should be sent home, the JSC ruled with a majority that she would go home. Immediately after the verdict, Shollei welcomed the investigations and insisted that although she did not agree with the manner in which she JSC had arrived at the verdict, she would nevertheless allow step down and allow investigations.
It would later emerge that the JSC had overlooked a legal provision in the JSC act requiring that an officer should not be dismissed until he or she has been given 21 days to respond to the allegations raised after which the JSC will make a determination.
Shollei gleefully rushed to court seeking the high court to stop her dismissal. The JSC would tactfully make an out of court settlement with Shollei before coming after her in a second round of investigations.
Subsequently, Shollei promised not to respond to the allegations through the media- never mind she was speaking at a press conference!
Shollei has since then looked for all manner of excuses for her woes. Appearing in before Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, Shollei cried foul that it was JSC commissioners Ahmednasir Abdullahi, Mohammed Warsame, and Emily Ominde who were out to â€œfix herâ€.
From then on, the blame has shifted from the three commissioners to the entire JSC. Shollei now wants us to believe that her woes have been engineered by the JSC after she refused to their demands for sitting allowances and has even shown how much each of the commissioners has pocketed in three years.
Interestingly, Shollei does not reveal how much she has personally pocketed given that she also sat at the JSC for three years.
While Shollei has cunningly used the media to destroy the JSC and the entire Judiciary, she has not made public her responses to the myriad of issues raised by the JSC. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a clearer manifestation of the use of the media to bamboozle and confuse the public.
My advice to Shollei would be to use the media to challenge each of the allegations made against her in a substantive manner and stop throwing mud at every one who seeks to determine the truth. Even in the shadow of the valley of death, two and two will not make six!
After yesterday’s appearance on Jeff Koinange Show, Mrs Shollei and the JSC should be all forthcoming to salvage the judiciary. A lot is undesirable in the ongoing tussle.