• A judge of the High Court, Justice James Makau, has given Chief Justice Martha Koome exactly 90 days to ensure that the public has full court access. 

    While delivering his ruling on Thursday, October 14, Makau stated that within the 90 days, all members of the public, including those in the villages, should be able to access judicial services. 

    According to the judge, the situation Kenyans are in right now clearly shows that the Chief Justice and the National Council on the Administration of justice have failed.  

    He insisted that despite the current pandemic, the judiciary should have shown initiative by putting in place measures that will ensure ordinary members of the public are served.

    Lady Justice Martha Koome while she delivered judgments and rulings of the Court of Appeal via Skype on April 24, 2020.
    Lady Justice Martha Koome while she delivered judgments and rulings of the Court of Appeal via Skype on April 24, 2020.
    File

    “The CJ and NCAJ failed in putting up initiatives that would have seen ordinary members of the public seeking court services especially those in rural villages who may not have access to the necessary infrastructure or unfamiliar with court processes to access justice,” Makau’s verdict read. 

    Makau proceeded to say that the public was expecting the body to provide information and communications technology(ICT) facilities which would help them in their quest for justice. 

    He added that this should have been done a long time ago, to ensure people seeking justice, especially those in the rural areas, get familiar with the technology. 

    According to the judge, this was sheer negligence, and they shouldn’t put the blame on the pandemic. 

    He therefore directed the Chief Justice to ensure the problem is resolved within the next 90 days. 

    Notably, in his ruling, justice Makau refused to give a directive allowing court proceedings be conducted physically. 

    He said that the matter should not be taken lightly, because it would risk the health of members of the public, judicial staff and other stakeholders. 

    The judiciary suspended physical court proceedings last year, in an attempt to tame the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

    The Supreme Court of Kenya
    The Supreme Court of Kenya.
    Muhabarishaji.com