Maraga pledges to expedite graft cases

Bernard Gitau @benagitau

Corruption-related cases will be heard daily to clear the backlog and ensure expeditious justice delivery, Chief Justice David Maraga has assured.

He maintained that while the Judiciary will strive to maintain its independence, it will partner with the other investigative agencies to clear a backlog of corruption cases.

“I want to assure the country we are going to deal with corruption cases according to the law and we are emphasising they will be heard on daily basis,” said Maraga.

He spoke during the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of  Kahawa Law Courts at the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison Complex. He was accompanied by Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i.

The CJ, however, revealed the ongoing corruption purge spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta has seen increased number of suspects in remands, congesting the already stretched facilities. This challenge, he said, would be addressed by fast-tracking graft-related cases.

Maraga also thanked the President for reviewing the Judiciary’s budget, saying it will go a long way in promoting the institution’s efficiency.

“I want to thank the President  for putting in a word for us to the Treasury to release funds to enable us to deal with those (corruption) cases. We have made adequate arrangements for the cases to be heard daily,” he said.

Matiang’i commended the  Judiciary, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the US for the project, saying the court will mainly focus on transnational crimes.

“It will go a long way in hearing cases of terrorism, drug and human trafficking,” he said. The CS said as part of government reforms in correctional services, such courts will be constructed  across the country.

“Each region will have a court within prisons premises to address the issue of risk and cost involved in transporting prisoners to courts,” he said. Kahawa courts will be the second to be located in a prison after Shanzu law court.

Matiang’i has also revealed the government will soon launch radical and intense reforms in the correctional services department. “Soon we will be launching new blueprint for reforms and they will be radical and transformative.”

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