NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31 – The Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) has faulted the National Assembly for slashing the Judiciary’s budget.
The Association’s Secretary General Derrick Kuto stated that this will bring its operations to a halt.
He pointed out that slashing the Judiciary’s budget means there will be no constructions of new courts, promotion of staff and employment during the financial year.
During the reading of the budget, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich allocated the Judiciary a Sh15.2 billion budget, almost Sh2 billion less than the previous year’s allocation.
“Virtually all the operations of the Judiciary will remain suspended due the drastic action by the Parliament” he stated.
He further noted that Kenyans’ confidence in the Judiciary has since gained tremendously but that this might wane with the new development.
He said that Article 173 of the Constitution creates the Judiciary Fund under Section 3(c) of the judiciary Fund Act and provides for adequate funding to enable it to deliver its services.
“The constitution under Article 159 gives powers to judges, magistrates and kadhis to do justice to all irrespective of status, without undue delay and that is what is happening to all courts and tribunal across the republic,” he stated.
The SG said the lack of funds will also put the independence of the Judiciary is under serious threat.
“The position held by KMJA is that the independence of the Judiciary must be maintained by placing a fixed percentage of the national budget in every fiscal year should be allocated to Judiciary without hindrance,” he said.
He called upon the legislators and the Executive to urgently appreciate and correct the anomaly so that Kenyans can effectively access justice without any impediment.