, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – Chief Justice David Maraga has reiterated that the judiciary will not relent in its quest to purge the judiciary of corruption.
Maraga who spoke when he launched the construction of a Sh 445 million new Mombasa High Court building on Wednesday urged those with information on corrupt officials to report the same so as to facilitate judiciary’s efforts in the war against graft.
“Don’t paint all of us as corrupt. We’re doing our very best and we want your support,” he said at a function attended by among others Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and the Chief Registrar of the judiciary, Anne Amadi.
“Where you have issues, we want to request you to come forward. This country needs people who can stand out and be counted. Give us the information and you will see what we will do with any officer involved in corruption,” Justice Maraga urged.
He said the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) was committed to ensuring all corruption cases are dealt with in accordance with the law.
Last year alone, the Judiciary interdicted over one hundred officials who were found to have dealt corruptly.
“As we report in this SOJAR, we have taken disciplinary action against 127 judicial officers and staff who are either on suspension or interdiction as we pursue our policy of zero-tolerance to corruption,” Justice Maraga reported on December 15 when he unveiled the State of the Judiciary and the Administration of Justice Report, (SOJAR) 2016-2017.
“While the vast majority of Judicial officers and staff are honest and hardworking Kenyans, there are a few of us who are corrupt and we are catching up with them,” he remarked at the time.
Judiciary has 5,619 members of staff including 159 judges, 421 magistrates, and 55 Kadhis.
During the 2016/17 fiscal year alone, 28 judges were appointed rising the number of judges to the new high – 159.
In 2011, there were only 53 judges nationwide.
In his three-day tour of the coast region this week, Justice Maraga has launched and supervised ongoing construction projects in line with an ambitious plan to promote access to justice through the establishment of law courts closer to the citizens.
The judiciary targets to increase the number of High Court stations from the current 39 located in 38 counties to the minimum of at least one High Court in each of the 47 counties in the country.
The judiciary also seeks to have a magistrate court in each sub-county (constituency).
The new Mombasa High Court building whose construction Maraga launched on Wednesday, for instance, will house eighty courtrooms once completed in 2019.
The building will also accommodate nine chambers among other modern facilities aimed at enhancing service delivery.
During his first day of his visit on Monday, Justice Maraga laid the foundation stone for the construction of a High Court in Kwale County and later opened a Kadhis court building in Msambweni.
The Kadhis court was built through the support of Constituency Development Fund.
He proceeded to Taita Taveta County on Tuesday where he inspected the progress of an ongoing construction of a new High Court in Voi which is expected to be completed by the end of the year,
The Sh 347 million project is being funded by the World Bank through the Judicial Performance Improvement Project (JPIP).
While in Voi, Justice Maraga also held a series of meetings which were attended by among others Law Society of Kenya Representative and a member of the Court Users Committee, Duncan Mwanyumba.
He also inspected service delivery at the Voi Law Courts.