The chief registrar of the judiciary Ann Amadi has said that as a judiciary they are working hard to ensure that they bring judicial services close to the people by increasing the number of courts countrywide and staffing those courts.
She was addressing the residents of Nangina in Samia sub county during the handing over ceremony of a title deed to the judiciary by the county government of Busia.
Amadi said that as per article 48 of the constitution which agitates for access to justice the judiciary was committed to ensuring that citizens access justice by increasing the number of courts all over the country and also the number of staffs.
Amadi noted that there was an ongoing construction of a court in Port Victoria after the county government gave the judiciary land in November 2014 and another one was yet to be constructed in Malaba.
She said that they would continue to cooperate with the county government to ensure judicial services are felt in all counties.
Amadi added that they would remove all barriers to access to justice by ensuring proximity and physical access to courts as it is expected to enhance expeditious delivery of service and this would reduce the citizen alienation from the justice system.
She thanked the government of Kenya, World Bank and other donors for funding the judiciary to refurbish and also build new courts and also increasing the number of mobile courts across the country citing the one in port Victoria, sentiments that were echoed by justice Aggrey Muchelule who is a member of the JSC.
Muchelule said that as a commission it is their duty to ensure that each county has enough courts to bring justice closer to the people adding that they are in the process of ensuring all counties have a high court.
Amadi further thanked the court users committees for working closely with the judiciary from the design stage to ensure the interests of all stakeholders are met for instance the courts being accessed by people with disabilities.
Such sentiments were echoed by the Supreme Court judge Smokin Charles Wanjala who further expounded on the notion that courts were a place to execute people.
Judge Smokin informed the audience present that the project was not to harm anyone but to ensure that the persons of Samia get a fair and faster judgment and it was their right to have the court close to them and also it doesn’t mean they are law breakers.
He also reminded parents of their responsibility to take their children to school giving them a challenge that all they desire was within their reach as he himself attended Nangina mixed primary school but achieved his ambitions.
Busia county speaker Bernard Wamalwa together with the governor of Busia County Sospeter Ojaamong insisted on the importance of the court to the local citizen with Mr. Wamalwa citing it as an economic boom where all the locals are going to benefit both directly and indirectly.
Wamalwa added that they would ensure that they give land to the judiciary in all the remaining sub counties so as to ensure there are courts in all the sub counties so as to bring justice closer to the people.
Ojaamong said that he would work closely with the courts and thanked them for delivering services without an incidence of bribery claims by the locals.
Governor Ojaamong urged the courts not to divide the people of Busia and remove the peace that has been there because of the ongoing court cases that have stopped the completion of Busia sugar industries in Busibwabo and West Kenya sugar in Olepito.
“Dr Wanjala please tell the chief justice to create a tribunal to come and arbitrate on this matter within a week so that the investors can know whether they are going to continue with the constructions. ” He said.
“Set up a special court that would look into the matter of sugar industry in the county where the two main sugar companies are not working due to court orders and distanced himself and the senator of the county Amos Wako from claims that they are fighting supremacy battle within the main sub tribes in the county.
This matter is so serious so kindly let us not use the courts to divide the Luhyas and Teso communities over nothing and create tension and fast track this cases because many families depend on this companies through employment.” Ojaamong added.
Ojaamong insisted on the courts starting civic education on the law is really lacking because the locals do not understand the laws.
“The judiciary must come out forcefully and teach us this laws such as trafficking offences and other offences so that they can understand.” He said.
He condemned the attacks done by the police on innocent civilians who were demonstrating on Monday when CORD leaders went to the IEBC offices in Nairobi saying it was very shameful to see such acts urging the police of Busia not to follow the example that was witnessed in Nairobi.
He further urged the president, the church, judiciary and the opposition to sit and dialogue to avoid bloodshed in the country because of the IEBC remarks that were seconded by the outgoing resident judge of Busia law courts Justice Francis Tuiyott
Justice Tuiyott urged CORD leaders to use the courts as an alternative route instead of demonstrating to remove the IEBC officials as the courts would give out a quick resolution to the matter.
Due to the backlog of cases in the judiciary Tuiyott encouraged the use of alternative dispute mechanisms that need to be explored such as the council of elders and other forums so as to solve some cases without reaching the courts.
He urged the residents of Busia to be patient and give the judiciary time to litigate on the matter of the 2 sugar industries before demonstrating as the judiciary was handling the matter with care and would ensure they fast track the cases of the 2 sugar industries that are before the different courts.