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Maraga criticises MPs over Judiciary budget

David Maraga
Chief Justice David Maraga. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Chief Justice David Maraga has accused the National Assembly of failing the Judiciary during the budget-making process.

Speaking when he launched Sh400 million construction of Ol Kalou law courts in Nyandarua County, the CJ said it is not his business to go lobbying for development funds from the national government.

Mr Maraga said Members of Parliament should understand that construction of new law courts is for the benefit of their constituents who are suffering for lack of access to court services.

“Our desire is to have courts available within a distance of half hour to one hour distance from their homes. Devolution is one strong pillar in our constitution and having judicial services devolved is in line with the constitution,” said Justice Maraga.

Clear backlog

He said the Judiciary is set to introduce a new working system to clear a backlog of all cases pending in courts for more than 5 years.

“The judges will from now be working on a rotational basis moving to courts with huge backlogs. We want to be at par with Singapore where the longest pending case is about 2 years,” said CJ.

Mr Maraga also warned advocates against using delaying tactics to continue earning from their clients.

“It will no longer be business as usual. Some of these cases especially land and inheritance form the bulk of pending cases yet they can be concluded in a day. But the lawyers spend the whole day in the courtrooms speaking a lot of English,” said Mr Maraga.

He said it was unfair for a land dispute case to drag for 10 years, which he termed as a block to economic development.

Diaspora Kenyans

“Kenyans in the diaspora are the most affected. They send money to relatives for the purchase and development of land, but brokers or relatives take advantage of the distance to swindle the buyers," said Mr Maraga.

The CJ said the delay was an injustice to the diaspora buyer since they will have already exhausted the resources intended for developing the land.

Governor Francis Kimemia appealed to the CJ to have a magistrates court established in Ol Kalou town.

“It is very costly for our people to seek court services in Nyahururu Town. The resources used by police to ferry suspects and pursue the cases can be used in other development projects,” said Mr Kimemia.

He said the devolved unit was ready to assist the Judiciary with accommodation awaiting completion of the courtroom building.

Corruption

On corruption, the CJ said the judiciary is committed and has partnered with relevant investigative agencies to end graft.

“All we need is evidence from the investigating arms. Kenya does not require any aid from outside or development loans, the amount of stolen public resources is enough to develop the country without getting loans or aid,” said Mr Maraga.

He added that the Judiciary is going to jail anyone involved in corruption irrespective of their social status.

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