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Chief Justice Martha Koome pledges to stay on the course of judiciary transformation

Chief Justice Martha Koome pledged today to stay the course of the judiciary transformation initiated by her predecessors to enhance the delivery of justice.

” I have had sessions with the court users committee to explain my vision to them as CJ,” she said.

Speaking just a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta appeared to discredit the High Court ruling that blocked the BBI path, Koome said that her vision will not be different from what was developed by Dr Mutunga who came up with the judiciary transmission framework that laid the foundation for reforms in the judiciary.

” It is not different from that of immediate former CJ Maraga about judiciary transformation that focuses on the delivery of justice,” she said.

She added ” my only departure is that mine will be a bottom-up approach,” she added.

Uhuru made hard-hitting comments against the judiciary in the presence of the CJ during Madaraka day celebrations in the lakeside city on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Koome noted that as the CJ, she will share power with all the actors in the justice delivery system.

” I share power. I am the CJ but I share the power of the office I am holding horizontally and vertically with all actors who are given the power to administer justice,” said Koome.

She asserted that what happens in the magistrate court, the way the court is run is how the supreme court where she’s the president,  will be run.

” We set the same standards for the delivery of justice, from the bottom- up and if we can deliver justice from that position of the lowest point, then we will have fewer problems up in the supreme court, the court of appeal or the high court,” she said.

Koome further stated that the justice delivery system is like a chain link where every actor in the sector is holding part of the chain.

” Whoever drops part of the chain affect all of it because we all drop it,” she said adding that ” we are not in the business of blaming anybody,”.

Koome said Kenyans who are the consumers of justice doesn’t care who is holding which part of the chain but all they want is the delivery of justice.

” We must continue working together to deliver justice,” she emphasized.

The CJ made the remarks at the Kisumu children’s remand home.

She had earlier met judges, magistrates and the leadership and management of the Kisumu law court to explain to them her vision as the head of the judiciary.

At the children’s remand home the CJ directed the presiding judge and the court users committee to ensure cases involving children are concluded within one year.

” No child should be in the justice system for more than one year. They need to have their cases done with faster to enable them to reintegrate back to their communities,” she said.

Children confined at the facility had given a memorandum to the CJ where they raised challenges that they go through.

Some of the issues raised were delays of the cases, lack of pro-bono services, lack of free bond, corruption and failure by the prosecution to avail witnesses in court.

She vouched for the reintegration of the children in conflict with the law rather than having them in the Institutions.

” I have received the petition from children in the justice system. Our prayer is that we will have no children in the justice system because children belong to homes, schools and the community. Communities should be empowered to take up the responsibility of taking care of the children,” she said.

UNICEF which has partnered with such facilities in the region has since helped to reintegrate a total of 788 children back to their communities in Kisumu County.

UNICEF Kisumu County representative Wangui Karanja said the children were from 646 households from the county through the child care reform process undertaken by the organization on a pilot basis in Nyanza and Western regions.

By Darlington Mose

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