CJ David Maraga Opposes Adjournments Of Graft Cases
Chief Justice David Maraga has said that requests for adjournments in prosecution of corruption cases will only be granted in special circumstances, so that they are finalised quickly.
Mr Maraga called on Kenyans to ensure that those breaking the law are brought to account.
“We cannot have corruption cases go on for years; read the public mood,” he said on Thursday during the Annual Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Conference at Leisure Lodge Beach Resort in Diani, Kwale County.
The theme is “The Rule of Law and Contested Constitutionalism in Post 2010 Kenya: Promises, Progress, Pitfalls and Prospects”.
He further said the cases will be dealt with daily and suspects will only be acquitted if there is no sufficient evidence.
Justice Maraga commended the country’s top leadership for being committed to the fight against graft.
“Unless Kenyans of goodwill rise and say no to impunity, economies of other countries will prosper while ours go down,” he observed.
Additionally, Mr Maraga said the Judiciary should be allocated at least Sh5 billion for development annually.
He laughed off Parliament’s move to allocate it Sh50 million for growth despite it being a government arm.
He also said the Judiciary requires more support staff.
Mr Maraga defended the Sh5 billion request, arguing it will facilitate the construction of 10 modern courts annually.
“We have challenges of office space. We are supposed to recruit Court of Appeal and High Court judges and magistrates, but we don’t have places for them to sit,” he said.
He urged the Executive, media, lawyers and other judicial officers to act as watchdogs of the rule of law.
On Wednesday, LSK President Allen Gichuhi called for the establishment of a Judiciary fund that will cushion it following a budget cut.
Mr Gichuhi said that the two-year window for the creation of the fund has elapsed with no progress being seen.
“It is only 0.4 per cent which was allocated to the Judiciary. If the fund had been established, it would have cured the situation. We hope more funds will be increased in September during the supplementary budget,” he said.
He added the LSK had written to Parliament, Senate and the Council of Governors on the adverse impact of the budget cut.
Justice Maraga recently said more than 40 projects will be stalled following the cut.
The Judiciary submitted a budget request of Sh31.2 billion for 2018/2019 but Parliament slashed it.