NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 6 – Chief Justice David Maraga Wednesday said the newly launched online case filing system could collapse due to unavailability of resources to fund its roll out to all court stations in the country.
Speaking during the launch of Performance Management and Measurement Understandings Evaluation Report 2018/2019 at Supreme Court, Maraga said funding challenges have continued to impede Judiciary’s quest for modernization in a bid to enhance efficiency and reduce case backlogs.
“The e filing systems is doing well except for few challenges which are being addressed, unless the Judiciary is given sufficient financial support, the ICT system will collapse,” he said.
The e-filing system which was launched on July 1 across Nairobi courts seeks to increase efficiency in handling of cases.
Maraga called upon the chairpersons of Legal Affairs and Budgets and Appropriation committees, Kanini Kega and Muturi Kigano, to address the concerns in Parliament through their committees.
“It is your duty as a committee to have a view of affairs of this nation.Judiciary plays a balancing role in Kenya’s affairs, bear in mind its an arm of Government , the moment you lose sight of its role, it will be underfunded and backlog cases will increase,” he told Kega and Kigano who were also present during the launch.
The Judiciary was allocated Sh17.4 billion under the 2020/21 financial year. Maraga however said the amount was far below what Judiciary had asked for efficient operation, noting the amount is far below 1 per cent of the national budget and the 1.5 per cent globally recommended threshold.
Both Kanini Kega and Muturi Kigano affirmed their support for the Judiciary noting that through the Parliamentary committees, the concerns raised by the Judiciary will be looked at.
“As the new chair, we will look into budget and see where we can be able to address the issues you have, we want a situation where we can be able to sit down together and address your concerns. We will have a supplementary budget soon but as your’ ambassador’ i will try and make sure nothing happens to you,” Kanini Kega, who is also the Kieni MP noted.
Kigano also expressed concerns on the fate of retired judges who have been decrying poor retirement packages.
“The way we maintain our judges reflects on our country, you are very lucky to have a sympathetic team at JLAC who will be able to listen to your concerns,” Kigano serves as the Kangema MP said.
“Sometimes we look selfish- one arm of government is funded while another is not, therefore you cannot function well, in everything we do, lets make sure we don’t overburden Kenyans,” he added.
The evaluation report launched on Thursday seeks to measure the performance and effectiveness of judiciary and its departments, and assess justice delivery in the country.
Maraga also launched the Judiciary Strategic Plan for 2019-2023, Court Users Satisfaction Survey (2019), Judiciary Gender Audit Report, Employee Satisfaction and Work Environment survey (2019).
Bench Book on Environment and Land Matters, Judiciary Strategic Plan 2014-2018 Evaluation Report and Tribunals Case and Institutional Capacity Survey 2019 were also launched.
Agnes Murgor, the Chairperson of Performance Management and measuring steering committee said over the past two years, 40 top performing courts have been awarded with recognition award which includes Sh100,000 for each court.
CJ Maraga announced the upward review of the cash award to Sh150,000.