The Machakos County Commissioner (CC), Esther Maina has warned members of the National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) in the County against hearing criminal cases in their offices.
She warned that her office will take disciplinary action against any officer found purporting to arbitrate criminal cases, saying such individuals have proved to be a stumbling block to access to justice by wanjiku.
“I want to warn the administration officers in my office, including, the Deputy County Commissioners and more so the chiefs and their assistants to stop holding “Kangaroo courts” in their offices failing which you will face the consequences,” Maina said.
She regretted that many cases involving defilement and sodomy were being determined by the administrators leading to a miscarriage of justice as some are compromised.
“You find that a child has been sodomised, or defiled or even killed and you purport to sit and decide such a case! I don’t know whether it is ignorance or what, but I want to warn you today that if you are found holding court in your office, you will be the first to be arrested” she added.
Reiterating that administrators lacked investigative knowhow and neither were they empowered to make judicial decisions, Mrs. Maina told them to instead report such cases to the police or Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) whom she noted can investigate, make arrests and initiate the proper legal process.
The CC gave the warning while addressing wananchi who attended this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations held at the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos, after reading the President’s Speech.
Others who attended the function included the Machakos Central Deputy County Commissioner, Geoffrey Taragon and a representative of Governor Alfred Mutua, Ms Anne Kimeu.
On security, Mrs. Maina urged Machakos residents to work closely with the local security agents to ensure that peace and order are maintained especially as the December festive season approaches.
She particularly appealed to them to volunteer information that could help prevent the commission of crime.
The CC stressed the importance of security in development noting that no area could achieve any meaningful development if it lacked adequate security.
“Security and development are joined at the hip,” said Maina adding that the best strategy to fight crime is prevention and expressed surprise that some residents in the county had a habit of withholding information that could help the security officers preempt crimes which she termed as unfortunate.
“You know that your spouse is a criminal and you hide the same until one day he or she turns against you,” she added.
On the forthcoming national exams, the CC assured that all arrangements have been put in place to ensure the exercise is conducted smoothly.
She warned those who intended to leak the exam that their designs will not bear any fruit.
The CC who also chairs the county security committee announced that during the examination period, no security officer would be allowed to go on leave.
She termed as unfortunate that Machakos County was among those mentioned as hotspots for examination leakage but warned that no effort would be spared to stop such crime from being committed.
“If you had such plans it’s too late,” she added, and cautioned those entrusted with the keys to the containers where the exam papers are kept to guard them closely or face stern action.
The CC expressed shock at the rising cases of suicide in the county singling out Yatta and Masinga Sub- Counties as the hardest hit.
She attributed the incidents to lack of close ties between the children and parents and urged the latter to strengthen their bond with their children in order to note any changes that could lead to suicide and take them for counseling.
“As parents let us create time for our children by being close to them so that we can help them overcome these tendencies,”she added observing that some of the cases could be attributed to trauma or stresses of life which can be handled through counseling.
Mrs. Maina at the same time appealed to the county government to work closely with her office in a bid to reduce the number of drinking points in the county.
She lamented that the county government had licensed excess bars. “We have more bars than schools and time has come for those that are near schools or bus stages to be closed down whether they are licensed or not”.
She noted that while those near schools interfered with learning programmes and exposed the young learners, the ones near bus stages were the cause of accidents as drivers usually rush to these joints for a quick swallow as they await passengers to board their vehicles.
By Justus Keesi