, NAIROBI, Kenya, June 10 – Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Atieno Amadi has said the Judiciary is moving to terminate the controversial lease agreement entered into for Elgon Place, which was to house the Court of Appeal before judges protested.
She told the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that it was impractical for the Judiciary to continue paying rent for a facility it had yet to inhabit.
“As it is Chair, it’s already very expensive,” she told Budalangi Member of Parliament Ababu Namwamba, who heads the committee.
A decision she said was also informed by the contradicting reports on the risk of radiation poisoning the facility, which was to serve as a Court of Appeal, posed given its proximity to communications towers.
“The LSK (Law Society of Kenya) had also commissioned their own study and when they got the report they disowned that report. So if I sent the judges there and the lawyers say we’re not coming there then there’ll be no business that will happen there,” she explained.
Then there are the questions, she said, surrounding the legality of the contract entered into for Elgon Place as an Auditor General’s report shows the procurement process was not above board.
And in regards to which, she added, she did not even possess the lease agreement, “as I said, there was no handover (from her predecessor Gladys Boss Shollei) and we have been paying rent because our furniture and fixtures are in the building.”
She also admitted that she was not aware who the owners of Elgon Place were as she had been dealing exclusively with their agents but Namwamba instructed her to, “lift the veil,” and table their names before the PAC.
“Why do I have the suspicion that it belongs to a member of your institution?” he speculated.
Amadi said the Judiciary was also looking to cut back on the space it had leased (unexecuted) in Rahimtullah and was now also paying for only one of four spaces leased from the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC).
She added that the Judiciary was also considering backing out of its Memorandum of Understanding with JKUAT Enterprises Limited, who consulted on their faulted court construction, over their questionable advice.