, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17 – The Judiciary has discounted claims in a local daily that it carried out shoddy procurement for construction works costing around Sh5 billion.
In a statement sent to newsrooms on Saturday, the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Shollei said everything was above board and that there was no ongoing probe on the manner in which the money was spent.
She argued that the process of procurement and expenditure was normally subjected to rigorous checks including by Parliament and the National Treasury and it was not easy to misuse funds.
“Old corruption networks have been dismantled and new watertight systems have been put in place to ensure no impropriety can take place,” she declared.
“However, certain individuals and corporations who have benefited from such vices have resorted to attempts to undermine the Judiciary’s progressive reforms.”
Shollei at the same time invited any official audit into how the money was spent saying her office had nothing to hide.
The newspaper report cited controversial construction works at the Milimani Law Courts building where electric cables started coming off in addition to leaking roofs.
“Indeed, the Judiciary budget that includes all procurement proposals must be approved by the Judicial Service Commission,” she explained.
The Milimani Law Courts building was commissioned early 2011 and it cost Sh1 billion.
But barely 10 months after it was commissioned, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga sounded alarm over the safety of judicial staff and Kenyans using the building whose ceiling has caved-in, with water leaking all over.
“I want to state that all the professionals involved in this project must take responsibility. Professional bodies must take disciplinary action against members who have been part of this mess,” the CJ told journalists when he took them on a tour of the poorly refurbished building in November 2011.
Shollei wasn’t in the Judiciary when works on the building were started and concluded.
The newspaper however quotes a source accusing Shollei of giving the go-ahead for repair works and cabling to be done at the building and other court premises at a total of Sh1 billion instead of questioning the initial shoddy works at Milimani Law Courts.
The reports in the daily also questioned the amount allegedly okayed by Shollei as rent for judges and court staff.