What you need to know:
- The judges said the criticism that has been coming their way indicates that Kenyans want judicial accountability to thrive.
- They said they carry out their duties independently, and will revamp the communications office to be updating the public on the progress of cases.
As the fight against corruption gains momentum, Judiciary leaders said 46 out of 91 corruption cases closed in the last 18 months had convictions while 94 are still pending.
During a Friday meeting, Chief Justice David Maraga, Court of Appeal President William Ouko, Principle Judge Lydia Achode and presiding judges from all over the country said they have come up with more measures of fast-tracking prosecution of corruption cases.
The 91 cases were filed between July 2017 and December last year.
Particularly, magistrates in the anti-corruption division have been allowed to sit beyond normal court hours and will be trained on active case management techniques. This is in addition to the 10 more magistrates deployed to help try such cases.
"As Kenyans, the Judiciary leaders acknowledge that corruption is a cancer in our society. The Judiciary is committed to playing its rightful role in the fight against graft within the ambit of the law," Justice Ouko said.
The Judiciary has been receiving flak over how graft cases are being handled. Hence termed the weak link aiding the vice that President Uhuru Kenyatta said is a national disaster.
The judges, who also form the Judiciary Leadership Advisory Committee, said the criticism indicates that Kenyans want judicial accountability to thrive.
"The Judiciary leaders pledge to continue being responsive to constructive criticism and amenable engagement with other arms of the government as well as stakeholders while remaining independent," Justice Ouko added.
Nevertheless, Mr Maraga cautioned that corruption cases cannot have a stipulated period of completion since they are influenced by varying moderating factors.
"There are cases which take three months to be completed, others five and others much longer. So it’s difficult to have these cases being completed within a specific time frame," he said.
They said they carry out their duties independently, and will revamp the communications office to be updating the public on the progress of cases.
Mr Maraga will hold a meeting with the National Council on Administration of Justice next week to further engage on how best they can tackle the plight.