The Judiciary plans to employ at least 50 magistrates during the 2020 /2021 financial year so as to deal with the backlog of cases in different courts in the country. The backlog of cases has been caused by a shortage of Magistrates in the region.
Speaking to the press while touring the stalled construction of Homa Bay high court, the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi said that the delay of cases in courts was also caused by the emergence of Covid-19 pandemic.
Amadi said that they will ensure that each court is facilitated to use ICT to enable them hasten clearance of backlog of cases.
The registrar further stressed that courts which will not be able to have access to the internet would be allowed to use the physical way but should strictly follow the directives given by the Ministry of Health.
“We want to facilitate the courts to use ICT as much as possible and to the courts which will not be able to access the internet using the normal way as they follow all the laid down directives by the Ministry of Health,” Amadi said.
At the same time she announced the resumption of construction of a Sh400million law courts in Homa Bay after the project was installed.
The project was launched by the Chief Justice David Maraga in June 2017 but it stalled due to shortage of funds. It stalled after 43 per cent of work had been done.
The building will host both Homa Bay High Court and the lower courts which are currently operating on different pieces of land.
The registrar also disclosed that they have received some funds for completing the project which was hindered by budget cuts for the Judiciary.
“The project could not continue to its completion after the Judiciary suffered budget cuts. Shortage of funds was a challenge for the project,” Amadi said. She expressed confidence the project will be completed after they got the funds.
“We received some money towards the end of the last financial year for the project and the construction has resumed,” Amadi said.
Consequently Amadi said their aim is to ensure the project is completed at the right time to enable courts operate in a dignified building.
Amadi who was together with Homa Bay Principal Magistrate Thomas Obutu said the project expected to reach 90 per cent by the end of the current financial year.
“Delay of a project attracts additional costs like interests and penalties which are not good for us as an institution and even the taxpayer whose money funds it,” she added.
By Dan Oduor/Davis Langat