Murder cases among teenagers in Bungoma on the rise–Judge Riechi

Bungoma High Court Judge Stephen Riechi
Bungoma High Court Judge Stephen Riechi

Bungoma High Court Judge Stephen Riechi has urged parents to give proper advice to their children especially during the August holiday, saying murder cases committed by teenagers between 17 to 23 years are emanating from ‘disco matangas.’

Riechi called on parents to find a way of reducing murder cases among young people saying most of them are caused by quarrels in ‘disco matangas’, “Let the parents ensure there is security during those disco matangas, and also let the young ones be talked to because most of them are rotting in prison yet they are the future of this country,” he said.

Judge Riechi was addressing journalists at Bungoma Law Courts when he started the ‘service week’ which will help to clear the backlog and ensure timely dispensation of justice.

“The service week has been authorized by the Chief Justice, his lordship Justice David Maraga and we have asked Mr. Justice Bwonwong’a from Narok High Court and Lady Justice Cherere from Kisumu High Court to join us in this exercise and have agreed,” he added.

He said by the end of the exercise more than 100 criminal appeals and 28 civil appeals will be concluded, adding that the service week will go a long way in attaining the station’s goal of hearing and concluding murder cases in one year and appeals within 6 months.

“Currently the Bungoma High Court has 1061 civil matters and 559 criminal cases. The High Court has only one Judge. Of these matters, 119 are murder cases. It takes about 2 to 3 years to complete a murder case,” he stated.

Judge Riechi said their strategy is to use rapid result initiative such as service weeks to reduce the appeals and the petitions so that the Judge can expedite murder cases to attain the stated goal.

He said Bungoma County has many criminal cases that need time to solve saying the Judges are on a recess period but they have vowed to deal with the cases. He said the dispute cases must be resolved within the shortest time possible according to the wish of the Chief Justice.

He said the Bungoma Courts will be dealing with family matters on the ‘family week’ so that they can solve the cases on time. “Deaths among families emanating from illicit brews are high especially from Mt. Elgon region,” he added.

Riechi said they will be monitoring how the files will be handled so that they can hear 240 witnesses in a month, noting that any judicial officer who does not hear the number required will be questioned.