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CJ rules out performance contracts

MOMBASA, August 19 – Chief Justice Evan Gicheru on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of judges signing performance contracts, saying the judiciary was operating professionally.

Gicheru who spoke during the opening of the Judges’ annual colloquium at Mombasa’s Serena Beach Hotel, strongly defended members of the bench, over their integrity in duty performance.

The Chief Justice (CJ) said until the constitution is amended to enshrine the new concept, judges would not sign any performance contracts.

“The current constitution has no clause, which states that judges and magistrates should work on performance contracts,” said Justice Gicheru.

The meeting has brought together over 45 High Court judges including 11 others of the Court of Appeal.

Last week, Prime Minister Raila Odinga called for the promotion of an alternative dispute resolution mechanism decrying the slow pace with which the judiciary is handling cases.

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has been clamouring for the total overhaul of the system.

They claimed that most judges have been comprised in the past to award hefty penalties in their rulings.

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A group of lawyers were Friday last week locked out of the High court as they attempted to present a memorandum to High Court Registrar Lydia Achode, over discontent with Nakuru Chief Magistrate, Margaret Wachira.

Wachira has been accused of incompetence with lawyers blaming her of laxity and unwillingness to perform her duties.

Gicheru said judges were ready to move to court to stop the move.

The CJ also announced that plans were at an advanced stage to post Kenyan judges to Southern Sudan.

“The Sudanese government has approached us to assist them with some judges to handle cases in their country,” said Gicheru.

He however blamed court prosecutors and investigators for the backlog of pending cases in courts.

“Investors and prosecutors should be blamed for the many pending cases in court and not judges,” said Gicheru.

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