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Editorials

EDITORIAL: Judiciary should operate without interference

David Maraga
Chief Justice David Maraga. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The budget row between the Judiciary and the Treasury is regrettable and could have serious implications on the country’s profile as an investment destination.

The sight of Chief Justice David Maraga on national television lamenting about growing frustrations inflicted on the Judiciary by the Executive was quite telling of the deep crises that have engulfed the justice system.

Even before the CJ spoke, the effects of the budget cuts by the Treasury were already obvious.

For several weeks now court sessions have aborted in many stations across the country and things could only get worse with time.

This is very unfortunate and the Executive should refrain from any actions that hurt the functions of Judiciary.

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There appears to be a systemic script to bring the entire Judiciary into disrepute by targeting its most important pillars – the office of CJ as well the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), the body that was created to shield this arm of government from Executive meddling.

A free and independent Judiciary is critical to safeguarding our democracy and nobody should be allowed to defile its sanctity. The socio-economic wellbeing of the country should never be threatened by short-lived mind games and political interests.

The Judiciary must be respected as the last resort where every aggrieved party can go in the confidence that they will get a fair hearing.

The consequences of a dysfunctional Judiciary can be grave. First of all, it slows down the wheels of justice and litigants have to wait for many months or even years before their grievances are resolved.

There is also the risk of aggrieved parties opting for alternative actions such as street skirmishes whose consequences this country is no stranger to.

But even more disturbing is that an attack on judicial independence would hurt investor confidence and deal a further blow to an economy that is already limping.

No investor would be willing to pump money into an economy with a politically manipulated judicial system because it puts them at a risk loses should disputes arise.

The State should therefore get its act together and let the Judiciary do its job.

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