CJ Koome lists achievements in her 100 days in office
Chief Justice Martha Koome has marked 100 days in office since her appointment to head the Judiciary on 21, May 2021.
During an interview with a local radio station on Friday, September 3, Koome shared her vision of transformation for the judiciary, the setbacks she has had in office and her achievements.
"When I came to office a lot was expected of me because my appointment was historic. I am the first woman to occupy the office," the CJ said.
Koome said the first thing she did was arrange a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta to solve the impasse she found between the Judiciary and the Executive.
"I am a problem solver, I was able to end the stalemate between President Uhuru and the Judiciary over the appointment of judges," Koome said.
According to the CJ, her meeting with the President led to the appointment of 34 judges who had been nominated by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
"I wrote a note to his excellency the president highlighting three main points: the operation of the Judiciary Fund that was stagnant since 2010, Judiciary budgetary allocation and the appointment of Judges - 34 who were appointed," Koome said adding that the six will still be appointed.
On the state of courts in the country and staffing of judges, Koome said she initiated reforms upon visiting Kisumu Law courts after Madaraka day celebrations.
"The land and Environment Judge in Kisumu is so over worked. The judge has to handle cases in three counties because Judges had been nominated but not appointed to office," the CJ said.
Koome revealed that when she came into office, there were no judges in the Court of Appeal in Nakuru, Kisumu and Mombasa and that in her 100 days in office, she was able to secure the appointment of judges to the said courts.
The CJ also said she was able to acquire land for the construction and establishment of Small Claims Courts in Nairobi with the assistance of President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Nairobi County Government (NCG).
"President Uhuru and the NCG allocated us land for the Small Claims Court. We will have five Small Claims Courts in Nairobi by the end of the year. They will be located in Mathare, Fuata Nyayo, Kasarani and two other areas in the county,
"If you have a claim the case will be solved within sixty days and if there's an appeal, it will also be heard within sixty days by the High Court which is the final arbiter in such cases.
"We are also opening other small claims courts in the country beginning with Nakuru, when I came to office we had 1200 small claims cases and we have managed to hear and solve 750 of those cases," CJ Koome said.
While in office, CJ Koome says the Judiciary was allocated 55 acres of land where the Judiciary Institute Academy will be built.
"Through what we call the JPIP, 28 courts will be launched outside of Nairobi built with funding from World Bank," Koome said.
To warm up to Kenyans within the digital space CJ Koome said a team of young officers in her office which she termed as a transgenerational working environment came up with JusticeThursdays, a new way to engage Kenyans on twitter on legal issues.
In a bid to address the security of magistrates and judges, CJ Koome said she secured a meeting with Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, Interior CS Fred Matiangi and other stake holders to have a police unit fully dedicated to the safety of judicial officers.
"I was told by judges that accused persons go to court while armed, with guns on their bodies. Judges are scared and afraid yet they still have to hear the cases," the CJ said.
"Now we have a police unit for the Judiciary. Which we would have launched had it not have been for the Covid-19 pandemic. The Unit is headed with a senior commissioner of police with 3000 policemen and women in the country," the CS said.