Chief Justice David Maraga

Kenya:Judiciary re-organizes to tackle graft cases

By Samuel Ouma |@journalist_27

Chief Justice David Maraga
Chief Justice David Maraga

Following the Transparency International report which showed a drop in the global corruption index for 2018, Judiciary has resolved to change ways the corruption cases had been handled before.

The Judiciary has embarked on an exercise to recruit more magistrates to handle the pending cases. On January 28, Chief Justice David Maraga sworn-in 47 Residents Magistrate who are believed will help to end the menace of piling cases in Kenyan Courts.

In his speech during the ceremony, Maraga warned the new magistrates against involving in corruption.

“I must emphasize that the Judiciary does not entertain or condone corruption within its ranks. You are well aware of the current war against corruption,” reiterated Maraga.

Maraga and the leaders of the bench also had a meeting on February 1, where they agreed that magistrates will sit beyond court hours to fast-track the cases.

The leaders vowed to keep the public and stakeholders informed of progress in all matters involving public interest litigation including anti-corruption cases and cases involving major infrastructural projects.

They further asked the Chief Justice to use a meeting scheduled for national council on Administration of Justice to collectively address the issues impeding the prosecution of anti-corruption cases.

The Judiciary has been on the receiving end of accusations that it is hampering the renewed war against corruption by issuing orders favorable to suspects.

The Director of Public Prosecution and Directorate of Criminal Investigations, (Investigative agencies), heads had taken a swipe at the Institution for conniving with the wealthy suspects to subvert justice.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti decried over lenient sentences passed by courts despite providing irrefutable evidence pointing at the looting of public funds. He also blamed the courts for issuing strange orders when it came to powerful suspects especially elected leaders implicated in scandals.

“Some of the frustrations that pull us down are some strange orders we receive. We are stopped even before we record a statement from somebody whom we know very well has stolen from Kenyans, and all Kenyans know we have pursued this person,” said Kinoti.

On the other hand, the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji, blamed the legal system for favoring thieves.

“Why can’t everyone be treated the same, ordinary Kenyans and those who stole? You have stolen billions and then the Government is asked to pay for it because the Constitution says so. This Constitution only serves those who steal,” he lamented.

Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta castigated Judiciary for using courts to protect impunity and lawlessness. He termed issuing of low bail terms to suspects and use of court delaying process to delay justice as ridiculous.

“Kenyan spirits are damaged when we witness suspects released on ridiculously low bail terms, interference in legislative process and use of the court processes to delay justice,” said the Head of the State.

Despite the crackdown on the corrupt high ranking government officials, none has been convicted and this has made many to question the Judiciary stand on fight against graft.





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