Judiciary ready for elections disputes, assures Maraga

Friday May 5 2017

Meru County Assembly Speaker Joseph Kaberia (left), Chief Justice David Maraga (centre) and Meru presiding judge Alfred Mabeya chat outside Meru law courts on May 5, 2017. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Meru County Assembly Speaker Joseph Kaberia (left), Chief Justice David Maraga (centre) and Meru presiding judge Alfred Mabeya chat outside Meru law courts on May 5, 2017. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KEN BETT
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Chief Justice David Maraga has re-affirmed the Judiciary's readiness to handle all disputes arising from the August 8 elections.

Addressing journalists at the Meru law courts on Friday, Mr Maraga said they were efficiently handling disputes that arose from recently concluded party primaries.

He said they expect a high number of disputes after the elections especially from the ward level.

“The judiciary is very well prepared .We’ve had the judges trained to refresh their minds to deal with petitions. At the moment we’re hearing appeals from the parties on the party primaries.

“The Political Parties tribunal is sitting around the clock. I have authorised them to sit beyond working hours and hear disputes so that we finalise within the time frame,” Mr Maraga said.

DEFEND JUDICIARY

On reforms, the CJ defended the judiciary saying they were fighting corruption and cartels within the judiciary.

“We are keen on ending corruption and inefficiency in the Judiciary, but this is not a problem one can deal with in a day. We have dismissed several judicial officers involved in corruption,” he said.

Mr Maraga said the judiciary would welcome any efforts to pass laws that would improve delivery of justice.

On Wednesday, Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri called on the Judiciary to exercise sobriety when handling matters related to the forthcoming elections and hinted at calling on a referendum to change the judiciary.

However, Mr Maraga said any judge who witnessed the 2007/2008 violence is aware how emotive elections can be and should avoid making judgments that are likely to ignite political violence.

MAJOR SETBACK

“Leaders should give us the proposals on how we can amend the judiciary. We will own up to where we have gone wrong,’’ said the CJ.

He also said they were working to clear backlog of cases especially land cases that have been in court for more than five years by next year.

He revealed that lack of enough judges to handle the cases was a major setback to clear the cases. He appealed to the government to recruit more judges to handle the cases.

“We’ve have undertaken to clear the backlog of cases bedevilling the judiciary which have been in court for more than five years by next year,” he added.
Mr Maraga pledged to fast-track the expansion of Meru law courts to ease congestion.