Chief Justice David Maraga has promised to establish a children’s court in Narok owing to the rising cases of teenage pregnancies, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriages.
Maraga said gender based violence (GBV) related cases are on the increase in the county, which he regretted does not have a single children’s court.
“Defilement cases and early forced marriages are problematic in Narok and that is the reason in the near future we need to establish a children’s court to ensure justice for the girl child. I have handled such cases before and the vices leave the minors traumatized forever,” said CJ Maraga.
The CJ who spoke during the commissioning of a new law court block built to a tune of Sh65 million, also cited land issues as the most rampant cases in Narok courts.
“I advise judges handling land matters to use diligence in handling land succession cases,” he said, adding that cases that are over five years old should be handled urgently.
The CJ was accompanied by among others Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Ms. Anne Amadi, Narok Governor Samuel Tunai, Senator Ledama Ole Kina and Narok North legislator Moitalel Ole Kenta.
The new court block that has stalled for over ten years has five courts, five chambers and five judicial officials’ offices.
He reiterated that the Judicial Service Commission is contemplating sending a chief magistrate in all the sub counties headquarters in a bid to bring services close to the grassroots.
Governor Tunai on his part called on the Judiciary to consider alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to solve perennial land disputes in the county.
“We have thousands of land tussles involving group ranches and cases are in court. Most of these cases can be resolved by elders to avoid them threatening peace amongst community members,” said Governor Tunai.
Senator Ole Kina decried the Judiciary budget cuts and the delayed swearing in of the 41 judges alleging it was crippling service delivery.
“The delaying tactics despite the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) conducting interviews and recommending their employment is pure sabotage on the wheels of justice,” said Senator Ole Kina.
He added that as long as Judiciary will continue receiving money from the Treasury, the Executive will continue controlling it.
“If there will be a constitutional change I will be among those who will be fronting for an independent budget for the Judiciary and the Legislature to enable them operate autonomously and perform their duties devoid of intimidation,” continued Ole Kina.
His sentiments were echoed by Ole Kenta who asked the President to allow the swearing in of the judges whom he said are crucial for the functioning of the Judiciary.
The MP called on the Parliamentary Legal Affairs and Budget Committee to work round the clock to ensure that the Judiciary gets the funding it deserves to ensure that ordinary Kenyans access justice.
By Ann Salaton