The Executive takes on Judiciary over corruption

President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on the Judiciary to slay the dragon of corruption and stop running away from accountability under the guise of court orders.

In a speech delivered by Attorney General Kihara Kariuki on the 9th State of the Judiciary and the Administration of Justice Report (SOJAR) launch, the president called on the judiciary to deal with the corruption within its ranks.

The president wondered how the judiciary will help the country deal with corruption in the country when itself is embroiled in the same vice.

Chief Justice Martha Koome who presided over the launch also voiced her concerns on corruption warning it was undermining the independence of the courts.

“Corruption and perceptions of graft in the Judiciary not only undermine the courts’ credibility as corruption fighters but also erodes trust in the courts’ impartiality, harming all the core judicial functions,” she said in the wake of damning graft allegations against High Court Judge, justice Said Chitembwe.

Justice Chitembwe in an interview with a local TV station defended himself over the videos leaked by former governor Mike Sonko, allegedly linking him to bribery.

The 2020/2021 SOJAR Report revealed that Nairobi County had the highest average of filed cases amounting to 64,111 followed by Nakuru, Kiambu, Mombasa, Machakos, Kisumu, Meru, Murang’a, Nyeri, Uasin Gishu, Kisii, and Kakamega which were all above the national average.

Some of the significant milestones achieved in enhancing access to justice include operationalization of the Small Claims Courts where Ksh. 362,044,601 million worth of cases have been processed in less than six months.

From the settled matters, KShs. 382 million was released back into the economy yielding to a cumulative value of matters with settlement agreements since the inception of Court Annexed Mediation worth KShs. 11.9 Billion.

“I am delighted to report to the Nation that the Judiciary achieved a Case Clearance Rate (CCR) of 83% in the reporting period. This is an internationally recognised measure of good performance by a judicial institution” she said.

Adding “To accomplish 100% CCR, will require a combination of various factors such as effective use of technology, inter-agency coordination, adequate staffing and funding, habitable courtrooms and working stations”.

At the same time, the CJ said the Judiciary had developed and put in place a Comprehensive Work Plan geared towards ensuring that the courts resolve election-related disputes that will arise during the 2022 election cycle in an efficient, expeditious and just manner.

She however decried inadequate funding ” the optimal implementation of the Judiciary Election Preparedness Work Plan faces challenges due to an acute budgetary deficit. The Judiciary is underfunded by Sh3.16bn in this endeavour”.

  

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