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JSC roots for independence of the judiciary

Vice Chair of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Macharia Njeru, has underscored the need for the judiciary to be an independent institution so as to gain public confidence.

Njeru said the judiciary’s independence in the administration of justice was imperative and reiterated the JSC’s commitment to ensuring that the institution remains completely independent.

“We do not want to be perceived as an institution that is captured by anyone. We want to be completely independent so that when members of the public come for dispute resolution, they know that they have a credible institution that can be trusted to do the right thing in matters concerning the administration of justice,” he said.

Speaking at the Machakos Law Courts during a fact-finding visit, the vice chair also disclosed that the judiciary will strive to remain accountable to the public as it discharges its mandate.

“It’s a constitutional requirement for us to be accountable to the public not only by word but by deeds, and that is why we have come to the grassroots to engage with stakeholders, understand the challenges they face, and collect feedback and views that will inform policy,” added Njeru.

He assured stakeholders that the concerns raised during the fact-finding mission will be considered and implemented to enhance service delivery.

“We will take decisive steps to address the issues that have been brought to our attention. We are an institution that cares and has a listening ear,” added the JSC vice chair.

On corruption, Njeru said the institution had put in place mechanisms to fight the vice.

“Corruption is an endemic issue in the entire fabric of society; it’s not unique to the judiciary. However, we take any issues of accountability, including corruption, seriously, and whenever such cases are raised, we take action,” he said.

The vice chair called on members of the public to report graft-related cases to the judiciary for action.

“The public should raise complaints about corruption with evidence that can form the basis of an investigation,” added Njeru.

He was accompanied by JSC Commissioner Caroline Nzilani, who disclosed that the county government had allocated 20 acres of land for the construction of modern law courts.

“Governor Wavinya Ndeti has set aside a piece of land where the court premises will be established. The premises will have enough space,” she said.

The commissioner also noted that the understaffing in the Machakos law courts was hampering effective service delivery and pledged more staff.

“The shortage of staff has led to a backlog of cases and delays in justice; we will look into having more staff deployed to enhance service delivery,” added Nzilani.

By Roselyne Kavoo

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