Judiciary won’t be a scapegoat in graft war, says CJ Maraga

Chief Justice David Maraga
Chief Justice David Maraga

Chief Justice David Maraga has decried the prevailing corruption in Kenya, reiterating the judiciary will play its role in the fight against graft. Speaking during the swearing-in of the new appellate court president Justice William Ouko on Tuesday, Chief Justice Maraga said corruption is the biggest threat to the rule of law and socio-economic progress in the country. “The amount of money said to be involved in corruption runs to billions of shillings with statistics indicating the national government loses thirty percent of its national budget to corruption,” he said.

He said if the current corruption trend continues then national survival will be seriously undermined, “It has become a national security concern,” he said. CJ Maraga said in order for the judiciary to play its role in the fight against graft, more resources will be availed and cases of corruption will be prioritized to ensure trials are concluded expeditiously.

He said previously, corruption cases took time to be concluded, but that trend will change, “Corruption cases will be heard on a day to day basis. The days when it took longer for the cases to be determined are a thing of the past,” he said.

However, he said the judiciary shouldn’t be used as a scapegoat in the war against corruption and no one should expect conviction if there is no incriminating evidence produced before the Court. “Present before the court a case that meets the criminal threshold then expect a conviction,” he insisted. He further noted that cases’ delays affect litigants involved and that by ensuring cases are disposed speedily, the judiciary plays a rightful role of maintaining the rule of law.

He said he had directed each court that has a case older than five years to conclude them by the end of the year, in a move aimed at dealing with cases backlog. The newly sworn-in Court of Appeal President William Ouko replaces Kihara Kariuki who was nominated as the Attorney General by President Uhuru Kenyatta.