Call for a more independent judiciary in Mombasa – HURIA
By Caroline Tsumah
“The three arms of the government according to the Kenya constitution are independent bodies and must not be interfered with. But that is what is in the books, sadly the reality is not the case.” Said Mr. Allan Nyange, Advocate Kituo cha Sheria.
Nyange added that, “one of the most difficult jobs to do is that of a judicial officer because you end up annoying people every day. And when they happen to be in the executive or legislature they would hit back by over ridging and one of the methods mostly used is underfunding.”
He said this during a colloquium that was held today by Human Rights Agenda (HURIA) discussing matters Coast access to people centered justice that took place at PrideInn Paradise Mombasa County.
Mombasa Chief Magistrate, Hon. Martha Mutuku reiterated the need for engaging with stakeholders, to bridge the information gap between the judiciary and the mwanainchi.
“There is absolute need to engage with stakeholders and court users committee such as Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). This would be a simpler way to let them know what Wanjiku needs to know and what the court expects from them.” Said Magistrate Mutuku.
As at now, court cases are being solved in historical buildings, a narrative that Magistrate Mutuku said needs to be changed. She said that there is hope for new courts since a new building known as Justice House will hold all courts in Mombasa County.
“Geographical carriage has been a challenge for quite some time in that people from Kilifi travel all the way to Shanzu. We hope the new courts being constructed will solve the issue of back log of cases.” Said Magistrate Mutuku.
Regional Coordinator, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), Coastal Region, Ms. Brenda Dosio asked members to simplify processes to enhance justice in the coastal region. She asked them to make pro-public decisions in order to deal with issues of independence.
“We might hold dialogues that make us look elite to the public. From a human rights based control measure, we need to ensure service is of good quality, accessible to everyone, accepted by most especially in the rural areas and make services available.” Said Ms. Dosio.
Judges were reminded to be independent, as they are serving an independent office. They were asked to come up with creative ways to ensure officials get to court. An issue that has been rampant in the country.
The Colloquium marks a very important time for HURIA as they celebrate their 10th anniversary.