Chief Justice Martha Koome has launched the fourth permanent Court of Appeal bench in Nakuru to help clear a backlog of cases in the expansive Rift Valley region.
The CJ who is also the President of the Supreme Court called on members of the Rift Valley Law Society of Kenya, lawyers and other court users to support the Judges at the appeal bench to ensure the pending cases are concluded in the next one year.
She told the judges and the lawyers to serve the public with fidelity, integrity and without fear or favour and also deliver justice in a speedy, accessible, and consistent manner to all.
The CJ voiced the judiciary’s commitment to inspire public confidence and trust in courts and promised that the appeal bench in Nakuru will discharge its mandate with fairness, equality, and integrity as the judiciary core values, in addition to exerting independence, impartiality, and consistency in their decisions.
While indicating that the ultimate objective of the Judiciary under the ‘Social Transformation through Access to Justice’ vision was to have a permanent Court of Appeal in all the country’s regions, Justice Koome said a fifth permanent court of appeal bench will be launched in Eldoret soon to ensure more Kenyans access justice with ease.
She insisted that the widening of access to justice will be attained through establishing an efficient, cost-effective, accessible, expeditious and fair justice delivery system, and promised that the judiciary will set up magistrate courts in seven sub-counties of Nakuru County including Njoro, Kuresoi North and South, Gilgil, Rongai, Subukia and Bahati.
She was happy that the Court of Appeal as currently constituted had fully embraced virtual/remote hearings, electronic filing, and case management systems to serve as many litigants as possible.
The court of appeal bench in Nakuru will be presided over by Lady Justice Fatumah Sichale assisted by Justices Fred Ochieng, Lydiah Achole and Weldon Korir.
Nakuru governor Susan Kihika said her government will provide land in Olenguruoni and Solai areas of Nakuru to facilitate construction of court facilities.
While commending the judiciary for the support and establishment of Municipal courts, the governor appealed to the CJ to ensure the Case Management System was well implemented to contain rampart court injunctions which she said were interfering with the county revenue collection and smooth running of the various departments of the devolved unit.
By Esther Mwangi and Dennis Rasto