A section of Members of Parliament from Kisumu have pledged to help the Courts take services closer to the people by supporting budgetary allocations to the Judiciary in parliament.
Speaking on Saturday during the official opening of the new Law Courts at Ahero by the Chief Justice, David Maraga, the MPs underscored the place of a strong and efficient Judiciary as a precursor to the prevalence of peace among the local communities.
The legislators drawn from the former greater Nyando constituency including Jared Okello(Nyando), James K’Oyoo (Muhoroni) and Owuor Aduma (Nyakach) pushed for the expansion of Judicial space in the region.
Okello and K’Oyoo rooted for the upgrade of Nyando Law Courts to the status of a High Court and the opening of Tamu courts in Muhoroni respectively, while Aduma pitched for the establishment of new courts at Sondu Miriu in Nyakach.
“It is indeed our commitment as members of parliament to ensure that the Judiciary is funded appropriately and in a manner that will enable it fulfill its mandate,” Aduma said
K’Oyoo had earlier appealed to the CJ to look into the planned privatization of millers after he alleged plans to shortchange the local farmers by including the land as part of the package in selling the factories to the investors.
The Chief Justice however, threw back the ball to the MPs emphasizing that the Judiciary is prepared to fully discharge its mandate but is constrained by limited budgetary allocations to the department.
“Taking services closer to the people is a major pillar in the judicial transformation agenda-because that is Justice, but budgetary constraints has remained the challenge,” said the Chief Justice
Justice Maraga has now put the MPs on the spot after he mooted plans to present a master plan detailing the infrastructural expansion for the Judiciary for parliamentary approval annually in what could be a new approach in resolving budgetary cuts to the Judiciary.
The CJ however, credited the World Bank for their commitment in supporting infrastructural expansion at the Judiciary but challenged the staff to live up to the trust placed in them by the investors and the citizen by adopting a human face while discharging their duties.
Commenting on the recent attacks leveled at the Judiciary, Maraga faulted a section of the media and leaders for terming the ongoing restructuring of the Judiciary as attempts to cover rot in the organization.
The CJ said he was amazed by the sudden metamorphosis in his Title to now being referred to as “The High priest of Corruption” in social media, but maintained that he has neither denied nor condoned corruption in the Judiciary but would not allow unfair criticism leveled against Judges on account of their work.
“Bloggers are just ordinary people apparently being pushed around by certain quarters, probably some individuals who have been rubbed the wrong way in course of dispensing justice,” the CJ alluded, adding that attempts to demonize the department would not distract the Judiciary from discharging its mandate.
By Milton Onyango