Chief Justice Martha Koome has officially assumed the office as New Kenyan Chief Justice with new promises to Kenyans over pending court cases in the Judiciary.
On Monday, May 24, 2021, Martha Koome promised to ensure that no case remains in the justice system for longer than 3 years as she begins her term as the Chief Justice of Kenya.
“This is a target that is possible to achieve if we all embraced a case management system and the multi-door approaches that are now available to us such as the court users committees, court annexed mediation, small claims court and alternative justice system,” CJ Koome said.
The CJ also promised to push for additional funding and a sustainable budget for the judiciary functions and the needs of Kenyans.
“A decade after promulgation it is imperative that we expedite some of the promises of the 2010 Constitution so that Kenyans can realize the benefits. As an institution that generates almost Ksh. 3 billion shillings annually, this revenue can be an important first step in addressing some of the challenges we currently face,”
“We will continue to build the case for additional funding and a sustainable budget for these investments and judiciary functions based on our track record and the needs of Kenyans. My role is to advocate for the resources to ensure that the structures needed are physically and representationally present at every court station so that every player can enjoy the fruits of this system.” Koome noted.
CJ Koome further promised to deal with the corruption cases within the Judiciary noting that it is an active threat to the independence of the judiciary.
“…even though there are some structures for curbing corruption, such as the establishment of the Office of Judiciary Ombudsman, we have not succeeded to effectively deal with these cases”
“As noted by former Chief Justice Mutunga in 2016, when he stated that the Judiciary was under capture by agencies within government, the private sector and civil society. This continues to be an active threat to the independence of the judiciary,” she stated.
She also pledged to respect and enforce the independence of judges and magistrates, however noting that the Judiciary will be accountable in service delivery while working with government and other stakeholders.
“In my courts, I am well known for regularly saying: “Let me conclude this matter.” This is the same attitude and energy that I bring to the office of the Chief Justice,”
“If there are cases to be heard, let us conclude them. If there are problems to be solved, let us resolve them. If there are barriers to overcome, let us overcome them. If there are changes to be made, let us make them.” CJ Koome added.