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Economy

Judiciary Sh1.5bn slash reversed on fears of World Bank dispute

David Maraga
Chief Justice David Maraga. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Judiciary received a slight reprieve after MPs voted to increase its budget by Sh1.5 billion for fear of upsetting the World Bank.

The courts had earlier received Sh17.3 billion for 2018/19 financial year, down from the Sh31.2 billion they requested for recurrent and development expenditure.

The Treasury had told MPs on Wednesday that it would review Judiciary budgets give some of the funds belonged to the World Bank.

“The Judiciary Sh1.5 billion is a World Bank fund and could be reinstated in the budget and could be introduced due to exceptional circumstances,” Treasury secretary Henry Rotich told the lawmakers.

The fresh allocation, however, is short of the Sh3.45 billion the Judiciary had requested.

In making a case for additional funds after the initial budget cuts, Judiciary said it needed Sh100 million for anti-corruption cases, Sh100 million for clearing backlog of cases and Sh1 billion for capital projects.

The Judiciary had earlier warned that clearance of the current backlog of cases would stall after the Treasury slashed its budget.

The courts had argued the additional resources will be required to hire more staff.

“There are only 150 judges, 450 magistrates, 50 kadhis against a population of 40 million,” argued the courts.

“This cannot be compared to countries such as such as Canada that have a similar population but over 3,000 magistrates and judges.”

Chief Justice David Maraga said in July the Treasury budget cut would force the Judiciary to suspend operations of more than 50 mobile courts across the country, derailing efforts to clear a backlog of cases.

The Judiciary had targeted to determine cases older than five years by December.

A number of corruption cases have been transferred to Nairobi in the drive to stamp out graft, which has seen the arrest and prosecution of dozens of public officials and businessmen.

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