NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 17 – The government is planning to build eight law courts near various correctional facilities across the country as part of measures to expedite cases involving suspects in remand custody.
Speaking during the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kahawa Law Courts near Kamiti Maximum Prison on Monday, Chief Justice David Maraga stated that the courts will also provide increased security for the remandees who are often transported long distances to the courts.
“We deal with quite a number of cases some of which require a lot of security arrangements to be dealt with; we have transnational organised crimes and other serious crimes which also require special arrangements for hearing therefore these courts will be helpful in dealing with such,” said the CJ.
Maraga further said the court will play a key role in decongesting other courts such as the Makadara and Kiambu Law Courts hence reducing case backlog and expediting justice.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi who attended the ceremony said the construction of the courts follows President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to reform correctional services in the country.
“As you all know, we are intensifying reforms in the correctional services sector. We will shortly be launching blueprint reforms for the sector which will be radical and transformative and we will remain collaborative to the Judiciary to ensure justice is served,” said Matiangi.
He further said the government will start imposing instant fines for minor traffic offenses and this will enhance convenience in the judicial process and reduce number of inmates in prison.
The Kahawa Law Court is being constructed with funding from the United States of America through the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime which was represented at the launch by Stacy de la Torre.
“This facility is very crucial transnational organized crimes such as terrorism and drug trafficking which are a threat to both the United States and the Kenyan governments our collaboration is therefore very important in dealing with these crimes,” said Torre.
This is the second court being constructed next to a prison after the Shanzu Law Court which is built next to Shimo La Tewa Prison which was also funded by UNODC.
The land upon which the Kahawa court will be constructed has been provided by the government.
The completion of the court is expected to take between eight to 12 months.