NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 30 – Chief Justice Willy Mutunga revealed on Tuesday that the Judiciary was facing financial challenges in setting up the International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court, to comply with the law.
Speaking when he gave updates on the progress of establishing the ICD, Mutunga said the process was on course but was constrained by lack of adequate finances.
“There will be great challenges to be surmounted in the establishment of the Division as the cost of setting it up and operationalising it at the expected international standards is enormous. Therefore the Government of Kenya will be expected to resource it adequately in addition to seeking financial and technical support from development partners,” the CJ asserted.
Despite the challenges, he said consultations were still ongoing to strengthen the ICD in its mandate to address transnational crimes.
Apart from other organs dealing with justice issues, Mutunga said the ICD plans to have elaborate consultations which will include other sectors that can play a role in control of transnational crimes.
Kenya has been a prey of numerous transnational crimes.
Terrorism, animal poaching, human trafficking, illegal firearms, piracy, money laundering and among others cyber crime have been common terms that have hampered the country’s security system.
According to Mutunga, ICD will be seeking to address such and related crimes to restore security by protecting people in view that Kenya had lost thousands of lives to transnational crimes.
“Currently, there is great concern in Kenya over the high rate at which elephants are being decimated by the rampant large scale poaching. Transnational crimes have the effect of weakening the security, economy, social fabric and even political structures of any nation, hence the need to address them,” he explained.
Terrorism has been a major problem which led Kenya to deploy the Kenya Defence Force last year to silence Al Shabaab militias after series of attacks linked to the group in several parts of the country.
The ICD once in place will be in a position to handle cases of terrorism.
Mutunga and Attorney General Githu Muigai put the record straight that the ICD will not address any ongoing cases outside Kenya’s jurisdiction.
They said the ICD will not touch on the ongoing International Criminal Court (ICC) cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang.
“It had nothing then and it has nothing now to do any cases that are in any other court or tribunal outside Kenya. It is our own demonstration that going forward Kenya intends to have the mechanism to deal with a problem of that nature should it happen again,” he explained.
The Attorney General also said Kenya will finalise on pending files in relation to the 2008 post election violence. “We will fanalise the cases pending before the various courts in Kenya out of that process.”
Establishment of the ICD is part of the reform process being undertaken by the Kenyan Judiciary to restore confidence in the justice system.
Before the post election violence in 2008, there was deep mistrust for the Kenyan local justice systems.
However with the new developments, trust for the judicial system has been on an upward trend with hope that the Kenyan Judiciary can now handle crimes that it could not in past.