BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,22ND NOV,2021-Chief Justice Martha Koome has vowed to deal firmly and swiftly with allegations of corruption in the Judiciary as part of her pursuit for ‘judicial hygiene.’
Koome told 255 lawyers she admitted to the Roll of Advocates on Monday that her leadership will “not condone corruption and abuse of office by any individual working within the institution of the Judiciary irrespective of the person’s rank or office.”
Koome’s stance comes amid allegations of corruption by former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko against Justice Said Chitembwe.
Chitembwe has denied involvement in corruption.
Sonko made the allegations through various video recordings, which have come to be referred to as ‘Sonko leaks’.
The recordings suggest that the judge accepted money in exchange for favourable rulings.
Chitembwe said the videos were manipulated to put forth a false narrative.
The allegations also rope in several lawyers.
A section of lawyers through the Nairobi branch of LSK have called for the judge’s removal from the bench.
But without specifying the action that she would take in the face of the allegations, the CJ said her office will be swift in cleaning the Judiciary of bad elements to ensure the public’s confidence in the crucial institution is not undermined.
“We will deal firmly and swiftly but also fairly with any allegations or cases that implicate anyone within the Judiciary in corrupt activities,” she said.
Koome also challenged the admitted lawyers to be part of the solution to the problem of case backlog in the courts that often cause cases to stall.
“Lawyers must be part of the solution to case backlog and delayed delivery of justice by abandoning unnecessary adjournments that delay the hearing of matters.”
Koome also challenged the lawyers to adopt a multi-door approach to delivery of justice that recognizes the utility of Small Claims courts, alternative systems of justice, and alternative dispute resolution in redressing societal grievances.
“They [the lawyers] should embrace the constitutionally envisaged shift to focusing on the merit of cases rather than unnecessary interlocutory and technical applications that has contributed to the delay in resolution of cases,” the CJ said.