Nairobi, KENYA: Chief Justice David Maraga has assured that the Judiciary is ready to handle all corruption cases expeditiously.
Speaking when he officially opened a new court building at Makindu Law Courts on Thursday, Maraga said the Judiciary is committed to hearing and determining graft cases as quickly as possible.
He added that those who will be found guilty will be jailed and cases that lack evidence will be dismissed.
He urged the other court users – the lawyers and litigants – to also do their part to expedite the cases.
The CJ noted that the Judiciary has recruited 47 more magistrates who were sworn in this week to help reduce case backlog.
Justice Maraga maintained the Judiciary is keen to bring justice closer to the people by recruiting more officers and building more courts especially in places where residents travel long distances to access justice.
The CJ, however, decried the increase of defilement cases in courts and urged leaders to sensitize the community on gender-based violence and particularly defilement of children.
He observed that 70 percent of inmates in prison facilities comprise those accused of defilement. He reminded residents of the stiff penalty the crime attracts which includes life imprisonment.
“Many young people do not realize the seriousness of sexual offenses and come to the court taking the matter lightly, only to be shocked when a life sentenced is meted upon them,” the CJ said.
Speaking at the same function, Makueni Governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana said that as a teacher of Law, he appreciated the need to uphold the rule of law saying that no one should be jailed without sufficient evidence. He noted that pushing the courts to ignore the rule of law and the role that evidence plays in securing conviction amounts to ‘Kangaroo courts”.
He appealed to Judiciary to build more courts in order to improve access to justice in the area. He asked legislators to allocate the Judiciary adequate funds noting that reducing Judiciary’s budget amounts to denying wananchi justice.
The new court building was constructed at the cost of 96 million by the Judiciary Performance Improvement Project (JPIP) – a World Bank-funded programme. It comprises four courtrooms, four chambers, segregated cells for men, women, and juveniles. It also has a library, Registry for each Division, offices for DPP and an advocate’s lounge.