Residents of Rarieda Sub County will no longer have to travel for long distances to access justice thanks to an initiative by the area MP, Dr. Otiende Amolo and the Judiciary to establish a law court within the sub county.
The newly established court at Madiany area in Uyoma division is set to commence operations once it is gazzeted.
Speaking during the official launch of the law court on Friday, the Judiciary Chief Registrar, Anne Amadi said the judiciary is committed to ensuring that everyone in all parts of the country can access justice.
Amadi lauded the initiative by Otiende Amolo for augmenting the work of improving access to justice by setting up a law court in the area.
“I know there are law courts in Bondo and Siaya but that is too far for the people of Rarieda and is against the spirit of improving access to justice for all,” Amadi said.
She said that similar initiatives to establish courts closer to their people by members of parliament in Tinderet and Ruiru have yielded fruits and saved the locals the huge burden incurred while seeking justice at county headquarters.
“We have collaborated with MPs from Tinderet and Ruiru to open courts closer to the people. We appreciate their support and donations they have made to ensure that their constituents can easily access justice,” Amadi said.
The registrar disclosed that the Judicial Service Act requires that each of the 290 sub counties have a law court to improve access to justice.
She further revealed that currently there are only 125 courts across the country implying that the country still requires an additional 165 courts to meet the demands of equitable access to justice across the country.
Amadi said that the shrinking judiciary budget is not adequate to establish the required facilities and called on the MPs to take initiatives of providing infrastructural support to bring access to justice closer to the people.
“I am happy with the parliament for supporting the judiciary budget. Budget cuts would have affected delivery of justice in the country,” she pointed out.
Amadi disclosed that the judiciary budget is a paltry 0.69% of the national budget, an indication that the country has a diminished view of justice needs.
Dr. Otiende Amolo who hosted the occasion blamed the IFMIS system for making it easy for the executive to interfere with the Judiciary budget.
Otiende disclosed that although the constitution provided that judiciary makes their budget independently and cannot be altered by the executive, the IFMIS system has provided the executive with loopholes to interfere with the judiciary budget.
He said such loopholes must be sealed if Kenya wants an independent and financially stable judiciary which can effectively dispense justice across the country.
On the newly established law court in Rarieda, Otiende stated that the people of Rarieda will no longer have to travel for more than 30 km to seek justice in Bondo or 60 km in Siaya.
“We have donated about two acres of land to the judiciary and it has infrastructure which was initially used as Deputy County Commissioners Office,” Otiende said.
The Judiciary officials have assessed the building and given it a clean bill of health. It has enough space for a court house, offices and holding cells so work can commence immediately as they plan for further infrastructural improvement,”Otiende said.
By Brian Ondeng