NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 1 – Chief Justice David Maraga says the newly constituted Supreme Court bench will start hearing matters in two weeks’ time after they go on a retreat to identify priority matters.
He was flanked by the entire bench when he made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon in an attempt to quell the anxiety of those with pending matters before the court.
“The Supreme Court as you know has not been fully constituted for a number of months, we are aware of the anxiety on the part of the public about some pending matters, we have reviewed them and we have scheduled the first ones on priority basis from the week starting November 14 and we’re going to go up to about December 15 with some of those urgent matters.”
After the contested retirement of Supreme Court judge Philip Tunoi and Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal, followed by the voluntary retirement of former Chief Justice Wily Mutunga, the Supreme Court bench was not properly constituted given the constitutionally set minimum of five judges.
Following the recent appointment of Maraga, his deputy Philomena Mwilu and Supreme Court judge Isaac Lenaola, the bench now stands fully constituted.
Meanwhile, Maraga had on Tuesday morning met the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) Principals in what he says is part of an effort to mobilise resources for the Judiciary.
Maraga on who Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula payed a courtesy call said he has already met President Uhuru Kenyatta and plans to meet the Speakers of Parliament in that effort.
He has also expressed gratitude to the party leaders for the bipartisan support he received from their MPs at the vetting stage of his appointment.
“It is my earnest belief that the leadership of the opposition both in and out of Parliament will be supportive in arguing our case for more resources, securing and maintaining our independence and in fighting corruption.”
Raila who spoke on behalf of his co-principals welcomed Maraga’s appointment to the office and advised him that the true test of his metal will be access to justice for all.
“We want to see justice being done in our country. They say that justice delayed is justice denied and we hope that the judiciary will be reformed with the aim of giving Kenyans the justice that they so desire.”
Maraga also assured that the Judiciary is ready to handle any election petitions that may arise out of the 2017 general election.
Maraga who previously served as the chair of the judiciary committee on elections has however called on Parliament to ensure they are allocated the resources necessary for the exercise.