President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday issued a set of firm demands to the new Chief Justice David Kenani Maraga, during the swearing-in ceremony at State House, Nairobi.
While presiding over the session, President Kenyatta instructed Justice Maraga to ensure that the backlog of corruption cases at the judiciary was cleared immediately.
“Clear the more than 600 corruption cases pending in courts. Kenyans want to see cases concluded quickly,” Kenyatta stated.
Secondly, Maraga was tasked to ensure that Kenyans languishing in remand cells were accorded justice and their cases fast-tracked.
“There are 20,000 people in remand custody; Justice delayed is justice denied. Do something please.”
“These Kenyans are told their files are lost or some other excuses when they appear in court. It costs us to feed them and keep them in cells,” Kenyatta noted.
Thirdly, the Head of State directed the new CJ to ensure that service delivery was improved in the corridors of justice.
“The Judicial sector is better resourced than at any other point in history. There is absolutely no reason why service delivery should be poor.”
“Today, Judiciary has Ksh 17 billion, Director of Public Prosecution Ksh 2.2 billion, Auditor General Ksh 4.4 billion, Judiciary Service Commission Ksh 450 million, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Ksh 1.7 billion the multi-agency formed to deal with corruption cases Ksh 2.7 and yet there is nothing to show for the money they got,” he said.
The President lastly urged Maraga to make sure the Judiciary was working well with other arms of Government.
Maraga, who is now Kenya’s 14th CJ, promised Mr Kenyatta that he would fight corruption in the country.
“I will reduce the backlog and become more accountable. I will fight corruption as part of new culture at judiciary. I will institutionalise the war against corruption to become part of the culture and strengthen the office of the Ombudsman,” Maraga remarked.
The 66-year-old further noted: “Burden of delivery is high on me as Chief Justice, but I aim to succeed. When we allow institutions to thrive, they will do what is right.”
During his interview for the CJ position, Maraga revealed to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) that he had never taken a bribe in his lifetime.