Mombasa, January 31, 2018
A piece of land that was wrestled from grabbers by a combined team of Law Society of Kenya members and the Judiciary will be the home of Mombasa’s Justice Towers, whose foundation stone was laid by Chief Justice David Maraga this morning.
The Chief Justice paid tribute to those who helped recover the land and said they had rendered great service to the people of Kenya.
He asked those slated to use “Justice Towers” upon completion – the judges, magistrates, lawyers and other stakeholders – to ensure justice was dispensed from the building.
“It will be sad if, from the Justice Towers, we do not dispense justice. The public are watching us to see what we do. We can only maintain public confidence if we offer services with integrity, expeditiously while caring for the people we serve. Gone are the days when the judiciary operated from the clouds,” he said.
The Chief Justice began his judicial career from Mombasa where he served as a Judge of the High Court from 2003 to 2007.
The Sh445 million, five-floor building will house eight courtrooms and nine chambers. The design was a consultative process with input from local stakeholders who introduced the Coastal architectural features in the façade of the building. It is expected to be completed by March 2019 and is funded through the World Bank’s Judicial Performance Improvement Project.
Governor Hassan Joho, who accompanied the CJ in laying the foundation stone, said his county would avail land for construction of other courts in far-flung parts of the county. This will include finding alternative land for the Tononoka Children’s court where a modern facility can be built.
After the grabbed land was returned to the Judiciary, court officials joined hands with LSK members to clear it and take full possession. Those who participated in the clean-up include current Judicial Service Commission member Mercy Deche and retired Justice Matthew Emukule.
CJ Maraga said the Judiciary is apolitical and does not take sides in political disputes. “We visit all the Governors irrespective of their political affiliation. We are happy that they respect neutrality of the Judiciary,” he said.
He criticised those who accused courts of bias whenever they lost their cases. “Don’t paint the Judiciary as corrupt just because you didn’t win. If you have evidence of impropriety, please come forward. The JSC (Judicial Service Commission) will deal with the matter firmly and in accordance with the law,” he said.