Outgoing Chief Justice claims State out to cripple Judiciary
Chief Justice David Maraga announced yesterday that he will be leaving office on Friday this week.
The outgoing head of the Judiciary made the announcement that he would be proceeding on terminal leave on December 11, pending his retirement and subsequent handing over to this successor.
Maraga said he leaves office at a time the Judiciary was enduring massive challenges, mainly occasioned by a government determined to cripple the institution by denying it funds to run its operations.
“I want to tell the government that the budget the Judiciary was seeking was not Maraga’s money, but for services for the people of Kenya,” he stated.
Speaking in Kitutu Masaba Constituency in Nyamira County during the re-launch of the ancient Manga Court yesterday, Maraga said he had only managed to steer the ship because of prayers from Kenyans.
He said courts are gifts from God to dispense justice, and therefore, those who could be compromised to give wrong judgments could be punished because of working against God.
He called on judges, magistrates and other judicial officers to uphold honesty when discharging their duties.
Maraga told the judges and the magistrates not to allow themselves to be intimidated and harassed by politicians when making judgments and ensure they guided by the rule of law, the Constitution and the evidence adduced before them.
He reminded the officers of the Judiciary that in the past, the colonial courts dispensed justice without fear or favour, contrary to what is happening today.
The Chief Justice lamented that despite his efforts to improve service delivery and to take services closer to the people, the Executive had starved the Judiciary of funds to run its programmes.
He also faulted the National Government for treating the Judiciary as an alien entity.
He at the same time challenged Members of Parliament to take a leading role in ensuring the Judiciary has enough funding to run its functions.
“Most MPs are always in my office demanding we establish courts in their respective constituencies, but there is no money to effect that,” he remarked.
He said there was a serious backlog of cases because the country lacks enough judges and magistrates to dispense justice.
Chief Justice said his endeavour has been to ensure justice is brought closer to the people by ensuring every constituency has a court.
He also said that currently, the Judiciary has established 20 courts across the country in a bid to bring services closer to them.
“The Judiciary needs between Sh5 billion and Sh10 billion for construction of courts for effective service delivery,” he said.
Retired judge Samuel Bosire who graced the occasion challenged judges not to be intimidated when discharging their duties.
MPs Shadrack Mose, Jerusha Momanyi and Senator Okongo Omogeni were also in attendance .