Confusion reigns as keynote speakers skip Maraga forum
The annual National Council on Administration of Justice (NCAJ) conference kicked off in Naivasha on Thursday with several invited guests giving it a wide berth.
Of the key speakers invited, only Chief Justice David Maraga and Commissioner General of Prisons Wycliffe Ogalo attended.
There were conflicting reports on the whereabouts of Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, who was supposed to be the chief guest, at the conference at the Great Rift Valley Lodge.
Other key speakers who failed to attend the meeting were the DPP Noordin Haji, DCI George Kinoti, IG of Police Hilary Mutyambai and EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak.
Maraga downplayed the absence of the senior officials, noting that they expected the present members to come up with conclusive deliberations.
“I won’t go into the reasons as to why they failed to come but the present officers are capable and we expect a very productive meeting,” he said on being asked by the press.
Maraga told the workshop the Judiciary was keen to work with other stakeholders and ensure criminal justice system was efficient.
“We shall automate the system of the anti-corruption courts so that we can monitor the stages and progress made in these graft cases,” he said.
He added that the major challenge Judiciary faced was backlog of cases against a rise in the number of cases filed every day.
“To address the rising number of graft cases, we have increased the number of magistrates handling corruption cases from three to ten in Nairobi,” he said.
The CJ added that the Judiciary was fully behind the plea-bargain programme by the office of the DPP, saying that would help address the issue of case backlog.
“We are in the process of opening courts in Kamiti and Shimo La Tewa prisons to deal with dangerous criminals like those charged with terrorism,” he said.
The Director of Assets Recovery Agency Muthoni Kimani said the recent reforms in the justice system had seen a new DPP, DCI and EACC CEO nominated to office.
Muthoni, who represented the AG, said plans were underway to open a victims support office and also build a new mental hospital as services at Mathari hospital were currently overstretched.
“We are working with the UK, Italy, Switzerland and the UAE so that the proceeds of corruption hidden in their countries can be returned to Kenya,” she said.