Chief Justice David Maraga says the Judiciary is committed to improving the courts infrastructure in a bid to transform the quality of services.
Maraga, who spoke while commissioning a court complex at the Kakamega law courts on Friday, said they were closer to achieving the aspiration of having a high court in each county after gazzetting four new high court stations in Isiolo, Vihiga, Kwale and Nandi last week.
He disclosed that the building was funded by the World Bank through the Judicial Performance Improvement Project (JPIP) to the tune of Sh388.7 million and 28 such buildings would be constructed under the programme with a similar complex commissioned in Isiolo last week.
“We now have 43 high courts in 42 counties where Nakuru has two, one in Nakuru town while another one is in Naivasha,” he said.
The President of the Supreme Court pointed out that Samburu, West Pokot, Wajir, Mandera and Elgeyo Marakwet were yet to get high courts.
He said they have gazzetted 17 new magistrates courts which, when operationalized, would increase the stations from 127 to 144 and ultimately each of the 290 sub counties would have a magistrate’s court.
The CJ added that they intended to improve the quality of the physical facilities so that the services were rendered in a pleasant and dignified environment.
He said in the past four years, they have constructed 61 court buildings out of which 16 have been opened.
“Apart from physical facilities, we have enhanced access to justice through mainstreaming the use of alternative justice systems such as court annexed mediation,” he said.
The senior most judicial officer added that they were rolling out the Small Claims Courts where disputes of a value not exceeding Sh1 million would be heard and determined.
He said the ultramodern building would house all the key justice sector partners including the ODDP, prisons, probation and the police.
The building has eight courtrooms, 12 chambers, an advocates’ lounge as well as the judges and magistrates lounge and a lactating room for the public and staff.
By Sammy Mwibanda