COST OF JUSTICE

Lack of funds to blame for few courts – Maraga

CJ says Judicial Service Commission cannot build station due to inadequate funding

In Summary
  • Says he has met MPs and lobbied for more funding to the JSC
  • Lamu is among counties that do not have a High Court station. Residents have to travel to Garsen, Tana River, or Kilifi
UNDERFUNDED: Chief Justice David Maraga in Lamu on Wednesday April 10, 2019
UNDERFUNDED: Chief Justice David Maraga in Lamu on Wednesday April 10, 2019
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES

Lack of funds is to blame for the Judicial Service Commission's failure to build enough High Court stations in the counties, Chief Justice David Maraga has said.

Maraga who chairs the JSC said inadequate funding was the major problem in ensuring every county has at least one High Court station.

He said his office has met MPs and lobbied for more funding to the JSC to enable it undertake construction.

The Chief Justice said more court stations in the counties will improve access to justice. He spoke in Lamu on Wednesday.

Lamu is among counties that do not have a High Court station. Residents have to travel to Garsen, Tana River, or Kilifi counties for services.

They say the trips are expensive and tiresome. Many often give up in their pursuit of justice.

“The biggest hurdle we have as the JSC is the funds. The plan was to have at least a High Court in every county but lack of money makes it hard. We have engaged MPs on the issue and we hope things will change,” Maraga said.

He said security concerns in Lamu and the many other challenges facing the region were reason enough for a High Court station.

“The distance from here to Garsen, Malindi or Tana River is too far. There is an urgent need for a High Court station," he said.

He said the JSC is recruiting more judges and magistrates to improve services. Maraga said plans were under way to establish Kadhi's courts in counties especially those dominated by Muslims.

“I met MPs from Northeastern who requested at least one Kadhi's court in every subcounty and I think it’s prudent, especially in predominantly Muslim areas. All we want is to serve you well,” the CJ said.

Edited by Peter Obuya