COMPLAINED ON NATIONAL TV

Judiciary funds released a day after Maraga protest

Said Executive was trying to control the Judiciary by slashing budget, violating the Constitution

In Summary

• A memo seen by the Star confirms that the Judiciary's recurrent and development budget has been restored. LSK had sued State over cuts. 

• All three arms of government are equal and the Executive and President are not superior to the Judiciary and the Chief Justice.

 

A day after Chief Justice David Maraga bitterly complained on national TV about the Judiciary's budget cuts, the Treasury has released all withheld monies,  a memo seen by the Star shows.

This means the Judiciary will be able to authorise expenditures for courts that were initially closed for lack of cash.

“We are pleased to inform you the Judiciary’s recurrent and development budget for FY2019-20 has been restored and the budget for the half-year been uploaded in IFMIS as approved by the National Assembly,” read the memo authored by Chief Registrar Anne Amadi.

The memo dated November 5 said the Judiciary will have authority to incur expenses for court stations and tribunals. It was copied to all registrars, directors, all heads spending unit and all heads of stations 

Another letter also seen by the Star was sent by Amadi to the Law Society of Kenya confirming the release of funds. LSK had sued the State over the slashed budget and obtained orders suspending the cuts.

On November 4, an enraged CJ Maraga accused the Executive of trying to control the constitutionally independent Judiciary by using budget cut. He claimed some CSs and PSs are planning to force him out of office but said he would not be intimidated.

"I'm told some CSs and PSs are bragging around that the CJ will or should be removed from before the end of this year. Really? Kumbe hii nchi iko na wenyewe (Apparently this country has its owners," Maraga had said.

The cuts have hurt the Judiciary.

The CJ had said as a result of the budget cuts, mobile courts across the country were shut, the institution lacks Wifi because of nonpayment, judges cars would not have fuel and automation of anti-corruption courts will also stall, leading to delay in determining corruption cases.

He had hit out at the Treasury, saying it does not have any power to tamper with the funds allocated to the Judiciary once money has been approved by Parliament.

"The Constitution does not give such a direction in respect of the budget of any other state organ," Maraga said.

He added that the Constitution accords the Judiciary special treatment and that no single arm of the government is authorised to exercise the sovereign power of the people.

Maraga had said the three arms: The  Judiciary, Executive and Legislature are equal and each should focus on its mandate.

"None of the three arms of the government should control or direct how any other arm should exercise the power that the people of Kenya hase delegated to that state organ," Maraga said.

The CJ added that each arm should work based on the powers that have been delegated to it by the Constitution.

He also said that he personally had been snubbed and sidelined or excluded from State functions, contrary to protocol.

After the Supreme Court annulled the first presidential election in 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta had pledged to 'revisit' and 'fix' the problem.

(Edited by V. Graham)