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JSC committed to spirit of devolution

The judiciary is committed to bringing services closer to the people in line with devolution, the judicial service commission (JSC) has said.

Speaking in Mandera on the sidelines of the court users’ committee forum, JSC vice chair person Mercy Deche said the commission was rolling out a public participation forum across the counties for enhanced administration of justice.

Ms. Deche noted the limited number of courts and staff in the county was jeopardizing the commission performance.

Mandera County has only two sitting magistrates and a skeleton staff of eleven personnel.
Mandera senior resident magistrate, Mr.Peter Areri said the area county government had provided two acres of land in each of the six Sub counties for construction of courts.

Mr. Areri noted the courts will eradicate the problem of mobile courts mostly sitting in selected days in Elwak and Rhamo.

He said court officials were dealing with processing of ownership documents before commencing on the construction work.

A multi-million court that was expected to reduce the shortage of office space has stalled half way, something that JSC has promised to complete within five years.

The JSC commissioners noted there was a problem with procuring funds with the national treasury.

Deche said there were limited resources and once funds are availed the construction work will restart.

The court users’ committee members led by senior prosecution counsel Allen Mulama noted the challenges of lack of a high court judge in the area.

Mr. Mulama said high court cases are usually referred to Garissa, some 800 kms away from Mandera.

He said the route to Garissa is insecure owing to Al Shabaab attacks and requested JSC to fast truck work on completion of the court building and post a high court judge.

The county also lacks juvenille and female prison, and suspects are usually confined at the customs police post near the Somalia border.
Other JSC commissioners included former Kenyatta university vice chancellor, Olive Mugenda, Felix Kosgey the immediate former Agriculture CS, Justice Mohamed Warsame, Emily Ominde, Justice Aggrey Muchelule and Patrick Gichohi.

By Dickson Githaiaga

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