Graft major hindrance to justice system, says Koome
Chief Justice Martha Koome has engaged Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to conduct an anti-corruption audit in the Judiciary.
Koome said corruption has affected the entire criminal justice system, negating the mutual duty to defend the Constitution.
“With the support of EACC, the Judiciary has engaged in a rigorous anti-corruption audit of the Judiciary and systems and processes within it,” she said.
Speaking during the ongoing National Conference on Criminal Justice Reforms in Naivasha, the CJ said a committee on anti-corruption was working with State and non-State agencies to identify bottlenecks and challenges in the fight against graft.
This, according to her, would facilitate efficient and effective investigation, prosecution and adjudication of corruption cases.
In her address, Koome observed that the Judiciary was ready to review its entire operations to eliminate loopholes that were prone to be exploited by those who could be tempted to engage in unethical acts.
Koome has also challenged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and players in the electoral sector to ensure issues of free, fair and credible elections are addressed. CJ has at the same time called on the players to engage in promoting accountability for electoral offences.
The CJ noted that Kenyans were keen to hear what measures had been set to ensure they were protected and offenders were brought to book.
She also said that as an agency mandated to support delivery of free, fair and credible elections, they were committed to a peaceful exercise. Koome further noted that despite the challenges brought about by Covid-19, the pandemic triggered a lot of innovation around the automation of the criminal justice sector.
She said the pandemic forced the sector to analytically look at how petty offenders were handled and processed through the system.
“Our focus going forward should shift to how we can take full advantage of technology to enhance efficiency of court processes and enhance litigants’ court experience,” she said.
On her part, the EU ambassador Henriette Geiger said they were committed to supporting ongoing reforms in the criminal justice system.
‘During the pandemic, the criminal justice system faced challenges that were well addressed in a humane manner,” she said.