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May 24, 2021 | Chief Justice Martha Koome/ Judiciary Media Service

Kenya

CJ Koome pledges to sustain momentum on reforms in assumption speech

Speaking after being handed the instruments of power by Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Koome pledged to build an efficient judicial chain to benefit all Kenyans.

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24 – Chief Justice Martha Koome on Monday committed to ensuring that cases are dispensed with within three years in a bid to reduce case backlog.

Speaking after being handed the instruments of power by Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Koome pledged to build an efficient judicial chain to benefit all Kenyans.

“We are still grappling with high levels of case backlogs despite the efforts of the last 10 years. CJ emeritus David Maraga’s tenure focused on all courts concluding cases that were five years old and above, we will continue that trajectory and ensure that at any given time no case shall be in the justice system for longer than three years,” she said.

Koome reiterated that her vision is to have justice accessible, transparent and safeguard judicial independence.

She further pledged to mainstream technology in court systems, as part of measures to ensure efficient delivery of justice.

“When COVID-19 paralyzed judicial activities across the country it became necessary to expedite the use of technology and we will continue to mainstream its use in our work, starting with expansion of electronic filing system and other ICT initiatives,” stated Koome.

Instruments of power handed to the newly appointed Chief Justice included the Constitution of Kenya (2010), Judiciary emblem and a status report on initiatives by the judiciary.

Mwilu who served as Acting Chief Justice for a period of 162 days assured Koome of her support, saying she is ready to assist whenever called upon.

“I shall undertake all legitimate and lawful assignments that you might assign me, more importantly I shall strictly stay to my Constitutional lane, I shall help you to do the right thing if you require me to assist you,” stated Mwilu.

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On his part, Attorney General Kihara Kariuki assured the Judiciary of the executive’s support.

“The government is committed to working with you and the judiciary, and the expectation of all Kenyans is that the Judiciary will dispense justice,” said Kihara.

Chief Justice Emeritus David Maraga who also graced the ceremony urged Koome to always consult God in all her undertakings.

“You have gotten a very demanding office but you are up to task. I know you are a prayerful woman and when you pray you will get things done. Please keep reminding all of us that constitutional power is constraint power,” Maraga stated.

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