Uhuru urges Maraga to settle cases on govt projects

President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses a gathering at the Supreme Court on February 28, 2019 during the release of the 2017-2018 Judiciary annual report. He called for the upholding of the rule of law. PHOTO | SAMUEL MIRING'U | DPPS

What you need to know:

  • He urged the Judiciary to prioritise cases involving government policies, saying these should be determined within defined timelines.
  • It is estimated that state projects worth over Sh350 billion are currently stalled at various stages as a result of court cases.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the Judiciary to prioritise determination of cases that have stalled government projects worth billions of shillings, even as he called on judicial officers to enhance the fight against corruption.

Mr Kenyatta said some individuals have been using courts to block government projects, and in the process denying Kenyans essential services.

“As I speak today, projects worth colossal amounts of money have stalled, either because the courts have put injunctions or stopped the processes all together,” he said at the Supreme Court yesterday during the release of the 2017-2018 Judiciary annual report.

RULE OF LAW

The President said brokerage of justice has left many Kenyans broken and suffering and their businesses, health and lives destroyed through impunity.

He said the Judiciary must strive to fight corruption and individuals bent on using the courts to perpetuate the vice.

“There are known culprits who exploit the court processes and judgments to escape from the consequences of their economic crimes against the public,” he said.

He added that there is a growing feeling among Kenyans that some judicial officers and legal professionals are beyond the reach of the law.

Thus challenging the Judiciary to subject itself to the same standards it expects from other Kenyans.

“A crook is a crook, whether in a judge’s or an advocate’s robes; and should not be treated any different from a crook in overalls. If anything, the Judiciary should hold itself to higher standards,” he said.

TEAMWORK

His sentiments echo those by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i who recently reached out to Chief Justice David Maraga seeking to come up with a framework to help speed up litigation of cases involving government projects.

It is estimated that state projects worth over Sh350 billion are currently stalled at various stages as a result of court cases.

Mr Maraga said: “I am keen to ensure that litigation does not derail the development agenda in this country,” he said.

He however said the Executive should not be surprised if the courts rule against the government in some of the cases.

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