By Claire Wanja
The Judiciary has opened a High Court in Kiambu and installed its first Presiding Judge, Hon Prof Joel Ngugi.
The court is expected to speed up the delivery of justice and to de-congest the overloaded Milimani High Court which has 50,000 cases.
Speaking during the inauguration of the High Court station on Monday, Principal Judge Richard Mwongo said this is the 36th High Court in the country.
“Thika and Kiambu account for 11,000 cases filed at Milimani. Many of them will be returned to Kiambu especially those whose hearing has not gone too far,” Justice Mwongo said.
The Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi told residents that it will be upon the people of Kiambu decide where the court will eventually be located – Thika or Kiambu.
“Once Kiambu people make the decision, the Judiciary will move the Judge accordingly. In the meantime, it will seat in Kiambu, with the Judge moving to hear matters in Thika for a period of one week every month. Thika will have a High Court Sub-Registry to file matters.”
The Governor of Kiambu William Kabogo lauded the move to bring justice closer to Kiambu residents. He pledged five acres of land from the County Government for court expansion.
The Governor appealed to the Judiciary to consider posting an Environment and Land judge to the County, given the volume of litigation in Kiambu involving land matters.
The new Presiding Judge, Justice Ngugi, promised fast and efficient service delivery by the new court.
Prof Ngugi, who was the Head of the Judiciary Transformation Secretariat under former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, promised to transform Kiambu High Court to make it the “model court in delivery of justice, with superior client experience and quality jurisprudence.”
Kiambu High Court will have oversight jurisdiction over several Magistrates Courts’ including Thika, Limuru, Githunguri and Gatundu.