NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 20 – Judiciary’s Chief Registrar Anne Amadi has defended the courts over accusations that they are the biggest stumbling block in the fight against corruption in the country.
Amadi, who was responding to questions from Members of Parliament in the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on Thursday, said the claims were untrue, instead blamed it on lack of adequate funding.
Chief Justice David Maraga has been leading a spirited campaign recently in his quest to have the Judiciary properly funded to execute its mandate.
In her defense, Amadi stated that the Maraga-led agency has established an Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court and gazetted a dedicated team of Magistrates to handle the anti-corruption matters.
“It our commitment to ensure that the expeditious disposal of anti-corruption cases with the Judiciary also currently refurbishing Forodha to house the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Court,” she said.
She emphasized that the lack of funds had continuously led to the backlog of cases in courts but more importantly lamented that even with the already allocated funds there were delays in release from the exchequer which greatly hampered the implementation of planned programmes.
Amadi revealed that in the financial year 2020/2021, the Judiciary needs at least Sh37.4 billion to fully equip itself in delivering services to Kenyans who have time and gain lamented of delayed justice.
Top on the agenda once the money is dispatched by the National Treasury, according to Amadi, will be clearing of 38, 000 cases which have been pending for over five years in various courts across the country.
Recruitment of judges, judicial officers and staff is also among the agenda the Judiciary hopes to achieve in ensuring efficiency and effectiveness.
Amadi’s admission however, sparked fury from Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Glady’s Shollei who coincidentally is her predecessor, who maintained that the Judiciary should come clean and make public how much money it needs to sort out it’s mess.
“The Judiciary needs to tell us how much money they need. I think that way we will be in a better position to help them,” she said.
At the same time, Mukurweni MP Anthony Kiai urged Maraga to stop lamenting in the media over the Judiciary’s underfunding status and instead engage lawmakers in the best possible ways the stalemate can be resolved.
“When Maraga speaks he seems helpless. It is important that he stops complaining in public forums and instead embrace a different approach that entails talking to relevant lawmakers like this committee on how best we can help him,” he said.