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Judges urge State to intervene and review Judiciary budget

Monday July 30 2018

Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association

The secretary general of the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association Derrick Kuto (4th left) addresses journalists at the Supreme Court on July 30, 2018. The Association urged the government to intervene and have Judiciary's budget reviewed. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

RICHARD MUNGUTI
By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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The Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) has urged the government to correct the anomaly created by Parliament in slashing the Judiciary’s budget.

At the same time, KMJA has supported Chief Justice David Maraga’s sentiments that said failure to release enough funds to the Judiciary will cause its operations to grind to a halt.

Addressing journalists at the Supreme Court on Monday, KMJA Secretary General Derrick Kuto said denial of adequate funds to the Judiciary is an attack on its independence.

“There have been heightened attacks on the Judiciary and judicial officers in the past and we notice a clear and systematic pattern to frustrate the work of the Judiciary,” Mr Kuto said.

WELFARE COMPROMISED

The association said the budgetary cut has further compromised the welfare of the entire Judiciary.

“The heavy load already on us shall not be lessened as there will be no recruitment of judicial officers and Judiciary staff.

“Promotions will stall and this will negatively affect the working morale of the otherwise hardworking members,” Mr Kuto said.

KMJA has come out openly to support the CJ who, alongside the entire Judicial Service Commission, has expressed displeasure with the move by Parliament to slash its budget.

PROJECTS STALL

Justice Maraga in a recent address to the media said over 40 projects will be stalled following the budget cut.

The Judiciary submitted a budget of Sh31.2 billion for 2018/2019 but Parliament slashed it heavily.

“This is what the Judiciary deemed adequate for the fiscal year under question to cater for recurrent and development expenditure,” Mr Kuto sdaid.

KMJA stated that Article 173 of the Constitution creates the Judiciary Fund and that Section 3 (c) of the Judiciary Fund Act calls for adequate funds to enable it deliver justice.

“We call upon the legislature and the executive to urgently appreciate and correct this anomaly so that “Wanjiku” (citizens) can effectively access justice without these road blocks,” the association urged.