There are 310 corruption cases pending before the Special Magistrate’s Court. A further 685 civil cases for recovery of proceeds of corruption, recovery of public assets, forfeiture of unexplained wealth and Constitutional Petitions are pending before the High Court and Court of Appeal, the Chief Justice Hon. Martha Koome has said.
In a speech read on her behalf by Honourable Lady Justice Njoki Ndung’u, the Chief Justice (CJ) said that the cases are part of a total of 995 cases currently pending before the Special Magistrates and Judges in Anti-Corruption (ACEC) Division of the High Court countrywide.
In her keynote address at a Justice Sector Stakeholder’s Forum held in Mombasa, the CJ also said that some of these cases have been pending before court for more than 10 years.
The CJ however confirmed that her office was working closely with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to increase the number of Judicial Officers handling corruption and economic crimes cases to expedite them. The CJ said she has also directed that Judicial Officers handling these and all matters in the Judiciary embrace proper case management and put in place trial systems to discourage frequent adjournment of cases.
“Adoption of proper case management will ensure cases are heard on a day-to-day basis from beginning to conclusion; discourage and do away with adjournments by parties on hearing dates; and discourage applications on hearing dates.”, said the Honourable Lady Justice.
She reiterated her commitment to ensuring that the Anti-corruption courts will be automated to secure real-time transcription of records and proceedings to facilitate expeditious disposal and to institute a Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) to clear backlog in anti-corruption cases.
She also committed to roll out practice directions on warrants to search premises and investigate bank accounts where these have been delayed in the Judiciary.
The weeklong Conference, which is currently going on in Mombasa has brought together 65 key actors including the anti-corruption Multi Agency team as well other stakeholders in the Justice Sector under the theme; “Strengthening Stakeholder Collaboration Within the Justice Sector Towards Combating Corruption and Economic Crimes.”
Present at the conference are Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Chairperson Bishop (Emeritus) Dr. Eliud Wabukala, Chief Executive Officer, Twalib Mbarak, Vice Chairperson Sophia Lepuchirit, EACC Commissioners Rose Mghoi-Macharia, Dr. Dabar Abdi Maalim and Mwaniki Gachoka, and Director of Public Prosecution, Noordin Haji among others.