The Government will ensure Judiciary gets enough resources to deliver on its mandate, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
Speaking during the official opening of the African Bar Association (AFBA) in Nairobi on Wednesday, Mr Ruto said there was competing interests in sharing of resources.
“We will find a solution and ensure all arms of the Government are working. We understand the concerns raised by the Judiciary and we will continue engaging each other to find a solution,” he said.
He added: “As much as we have competing priorities, including provision of water, electricity, construction of roads in all corners of the country, we will not leave the functioning of the Judiciary behind.”
At the same time, the Deputy President asked the legal fraternity to play a greater role in consolidating Africa’s democracy so as to achieve the desired development in the continent.
“It is my considered thoughts that you have a huge contribution to make in consolidating development paradigm and in ensuring Agenda 2063 is achieved,” noted Mr Ruto, adding:“We should continuously remind ourselves that democracy is the only option for us as a continent.”
He said there was need to use democracy and the rule of law to transform the potential and opportunities available in the continent into reality, thus democratising “our economies going into the future”.
“The legal profession wields great influence; its contribution will propel Agenda 2063, firm up our development paradigm and inspire a new vision that translates to true justice for society,” he said.
Mr Ruto urged the legal fraternity to discourage the culture of personalising democratic and governance institutions.
“We should discourage personalising institutions of governance. Let us establish and nurture institutions that help in growing our democracy,” said Mr Ruto.
Present in the function were Chief Justice David Maraga, Attorney General Paul Kariuki, AFBA Chairman Hannibal Uwaifo and Nairobi City County Governor Mike Sonko.
Mr Ruto said Kenya was building the democratic process and the rule of law by respecting all arms of the government charged with various responsibilities as entrenched in the 2010 Constitution.
“As the Executive, we cannot, for instance, interfere with the work of police, Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Judiciary, Legislature, among other entities in discharging their mandate for Kenyans,” said Mr Ruto.
“We will be asked as the Executive to account for our vision in providing water, electricity, building roads, schools, providing NHIF to Kenyans, among others. The arms of government must also be held accountable as well as in the case of how the Judiciary is dispensing justice, among others.”
Mr Maraga said the Judiciary was undertaking a number of reforms, including leveraging on technology to improve on its mandate as well as partnering with other African countries on best judicial practices.
“We are doing our best to make our country a better home for its people as far as the adherence of rule of law and other matters associated to the Judiciary are concerned,” said Mr Maraga.
He regretted that the search for freedom in many African countries had resulted in failed economies and fragmented societies due to war and conflicts.
Mr Uwaifo said AFBA has been proactive in a number of fronts and lent her voice and technical experience in other dire situations in the continent.
“From our interventions in the crises that engulfed The Gambia after elections where we made far reaching recommendations that led to peace,” said Mr Uwaifo.
He said the African Bar Associations would help the African Union Agenda 2063 on investments, which would only be achieved through peace.
“We don’t need guns and bullets. We need investments and friends. Africa needs a deliberate well mapped out strategy to develop her continent, emancipate her people and be the prosperous continent it is destined to be,” said Mr Uwaifo.
Mr Kariuki emphasised on the need for legal fraternity to help their countries observe the rule of law if development has to be realized.
“Unless as African countries uphold the rule of law, peace and security in our continent will be a mirage,” said Judge Kariuki.
The Nairobi City Governor urged the National Treasury to reconsider its decision to slash budgetary allocation to judiciary, saying it would deter the development of the sector.
“For Judiciary to do its mandate of reducing backlog of cases as well as ensure justice for all, it must have enough resources to execute such responsibilities,” said Mr Sonko.