Kwale, Monday, January 29, 2018
The Judiciary’s plan of establishing a High Court station in every county edged a step closer today when Chief Justice David Maraga laid the foundation stone for a Sh390 million building in Kwale.
In an event attended by Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, the CJ said the Judiciary will post a Judge to Kwale as soon as the building is complete. So far, there are 39 High Court stations in 38 counties. Besides Kwale, construction is ongoing in Isiolo where a High Court is also forthcoming.
The Kwale High Court is being constructed on a three-acre piece of land donated to the Judiciary by the County Government.
At another ceremony, the CJ formally received the Msambweni Kadhi’s Court from the Kwale county leadership. The court construction was funded by the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Chief Justive Maraga expressed his gratitude to the people of Msambweni for prioritizing the construction of a Kadhi’s Court despite the many competing priorities that CDF has to contend with. He further said that the Judiciary will consider expanding the Msambweni Kadhi’s court to a full fledged magistrate’s court in order to expand the jurisdiction of the Court and bring justice closer to the people.
The Judiciary has committed to building magistrates’ courts in all the 290 subcounties in the country.
Other steps that will be taken to improve administration of justice, CJ said, will be the immediate establishment of a High Court Sub-Registry at Kwale Law Courts, so that High Court matters do not have to go all the way to Mombasa. Governor Mvurya and other leaders asked the Chief Justice to establish magistrates courts in Ukunda and Lunga Lunga and pledged to provide land for the projects.
As part of the Judiciary’s effort to entrench integrity and ensure efficient delivery of services, a representative of the office of Judiciary Ombudsman will be stationed at the Kwale law courts. The office receives and processes complaints from court users.
The five-storey-Kwale High Court will have eight courtrooms, nine Chambers, a Huduma Centre, police and prison cells – both segregated for male and females; Judges’ lounge; magistrates’ lounge, lactating rooms for mothers; offices for DPP; Probation and other NCAJ agencies; Registries, Archives, stores and library.
The court design incorporates views from the local community, gathered through the Court Users Committee which was represented at the launch.
Tomorrow, the Chief Justice will meet the Governor of Taita Taveta and inspect the ongoing construction of Voi High Court, before going to kick off construction of a new High Court building at Mombasa Law Courts.