CJ calls for a free and fair election process

Counties Editor's Pick Legal West Pokot

Chief Justice (CJ) Martha Koome has called on all Kenyans especially the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to ensure they conduct this year’s general elections process in a transparent and fair manner to help minimize election disputes that always emerge after the polls.

Speaking in West Pokot County during the official inauguration of a Sh350 million modern courtroom complex at Kapenguria Law courts, Koome appealed to the agency to deliver their mandate properly in accordance with the law for a free, fair, credible and verifiable election so that there are very few election disputes to the judiciary’s time.

“We are heading to a very volatile period of electioneering. We are ready as the judiciary to deal very dispassionately, very firmly, impartially with all disputes that will come before us. I therefore request the electoral body, IEBC, to ensure the election process is conducted properly so that we don’t experience many election petitions on our way,” she urged.

The CJ argued that the judiciary would want to use the time and resources it has to reduce the existing backlog of cases, hence the need for sufficient time spared for timely dispensation of justice.

She called for collaboration among various stakeholders to help fast track solving of disputes noting that delays in administration of justice hampers development in various sectors.

The CJ reiterated the judiciary’s willingness to support alternative dispute resolution mechanisms noting that some matters especially family issues such as inheritance can be amicably adjudicated through mediation teams at the grassroot levels without necessarily taking them to court.

“We will assist aggrieved parties to talk to reduce conflicts and tensions because prevention is better than cure. We are available to resolve all problems that are brought before the judiciary,” she advised.

Meanwhile, the CJ commended the West Pokot County Government for its prioritization of education noting that no culture should deny any child the right to education.

“I am delighted that the county government is ensuring that all children go to school thus helping in the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation. The judiciary will plan to introduce mentorship programmes for girls who are pursuing law from the region so that they can rise against all odds,” Justice Koome encouraged.

She called on the judicial staff to take advantage of the modern courtroom complex to dispense justice on time.

“The complex now provides a conducive working environment where officers can afford to sit for longer hours hence reduce a backlog of cases,” said the CJ.

The construction of the Kapenguria Law Courts modern complex funded by the World Bank started in 2017 and was completed in May last year, with area leaders among them Governor John Lonyangapuo and Senator Samuel Poghisio lauding the government for implementation of the project of such a magnitude.

By Richard Muhambe

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