NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 15 – Chief Justice David Maraga has deployed 10 additional magistrates to serve in Nairobi anti-corruption courts following an increase in graft-related cases.
Maraga said on Monday the magistrates drawn from other stations in the country will sit at Forodha House which is currently undergoing renovation.
“Because of the number of corruption cases that have been brought in Nairobi, I have already brought other (10) magistrates from other stations to deal with these cases. The magistrates will be able to hear these cases on a day-to-day basis,” he said.
Maraga commended President Uhuru Kenyatta for facilitating the acquisition of Forodha House for purposes of creating more courtrooms and chambers.
He said the judges will primarily focus on the expeditious hearing and conclusion of graft cases.
“My instruction to the magistrates is that when a case starts, they’re to put all else aside and deal with those cases. I have not brought them to Nairobi to do any other cases,” the top judge told actors in the justice sector who had gathered at the Supreme Court to witness the installation of a new Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Executive Officer.
During the swearing-in ceremony of Twalib Mbarak, an ex-military intelligence officer, Maraga, in a thinly veiled attack, dismissed assertions by Attorney General Kihara Kariuki that the judiciary was derailing the anti-graft campaign.
The CJ warned investigating and prosecution agencies represented at the meeting by Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji that shoddy cases will be dismissed.
“We want to assure you that the Judiciary will continue to do its part but let me say we’ll not allow you to use the judiciary as the scapegoat. If you bring a hopeless case, we’ll say in our judgment why we’re dismissing it,” a firm Maraga declared.
Kariuki who had spoken before Maraga had challenged the Judiciary to step up its game in the ongoing anti-graft campaign decrying frequent adjournments of corruption cases.
“The Judiciary, while it is independent, that autonomy can be no substitute for either impunity or not doing what is right. You must help us to ensure these cases are concluded in a timely manner,” the AG had pointed out in his address.
CJ Maraga insisted that the war on graft must be conducted within the framework of the Constitution and must adhere to the latter, to the rule of law.
He said the public was especially keen on the unfolding events as far as fighting corruption was concerned adding the masses can tell when cases are dismissed due to shoddy investigations.
The new CEO of the anti-graft agency promised to firmly deal with corruption, making financial crime a perilous endeavour.
“Corrupt persons thrive on volatility. They exploit it for personal gain and I am committed to make corruption a high-risk venture in this country. Kenya will be an inhospitable place for people who are corrupt,” Mbarak pledged.
The ex-military spy said he will make used of increased allocations to the agency to ensure the war on corruption is won.
“I bring a wealth of knowledge from both law enforcement and corporate background. I appreciate that the EACC is in a good place to deliver because the silo mentality of law enforcement agencies has significantly been reduced by the multi-agency approach,” Mbarak said.