JUSTICE DELAYED

Mwilu orders full reopening of courts

Says she has been receiving complaints from court users about how their cases have stalled

In Summary
  • In some instance, the acting CJ said, court users had been completely locked out amid claims that the courts were not operating.
  • She said court users had accused some of the judges of not conducting proper hearings.
Acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu
Acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu
Image: FILE

Acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu has called for full reopening of courts across the country.

She said most operations at the courts had been streamlined after Covid-19 was declared in Kenya as a way of controlling the spread of the virus.

Mwilu said she has been receiving complaints from court users about how their cases had stalled as a result of courts not working fully.

She spoke at a Mombasa hotel while opening the annual judges conference on Wednesday.

In some instance, the acting CJ said, court users had been completely locked out amid claims that the courts were not operating.

She said court users had accused judges of not conducting proper hearings as witnesses were not being heard either physically or virtually.

“If all schools in the country are open, if churches and mosques are admitting worshippers, supermarkets never shut, why do courts have to remain closed?” she said.

According to a Directorate of Planning and Organizational Performance report released during the conference, 25 per cent of cases postponed were as a result of the courts not sitting.

Mwilu called upon judges to serve Kenyans expeditiously and resolve disputes with total integrity.

She noted the Judiciary is committed to keeping its staff safe by providing access to personal protective equipment such as masks and sanitiser.

“We are also committed to keeping all court users safe within the court precincts by ensuring they adhere to Covid-19 protocols laid down by the Ministry of Health,” she said.

 

Edited by Henry Makori