Chief Justice David Maraga, who made a surprise visit to the Kakamega Law Courts on November 18, 2016. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Chief Justice David Maraga made an unannounced visit to the Kakamega Law Courts on Friday, startling staff and finding courtrooms closed.
Justice Maraga arrived at the courthouse shortly after 8.30am and was surprised to find a large number of litigants waiting for the courts to open.
He was told the magistrates were away in Eldoret attending a seminar.
The CJ appeared unhappy about what he had seen, saying some magistrates should have remained behind to ensure normal court proceedings were not interrupted.
“Some arrangements should have been made to ensure the magistrate on duty was left behind to serve the litigants and ensure normal services continue uninterrupted,” he said.
Mr Maraga started a tour of courts across the country after taking over from his predecessor, Justice Willy Mutunga.
On Thursday he toured the Butere and Mumias law courts before heading to Bungoma County.
Earlier today, Mr Maraga met Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya in a closed-door meeting at the county headquarters.
Mr Oparanya said the county government had identified land suitable for additional law courts in Likuyani and Navakholo.
The county boss thanked the Judiciary for supporting devolution, adding that it has made a big impact in the country.
Mr Maraga urged Kenyans to make use of their local administrators such as village elders and chiefs to resolve some of their disputes.
He said a large number of cases pending in various courts could easily have been resolved using alternative means.
“This will help us in reducing the backlog and speed up the judicial process,” he said.