Chief Justice Willy Mutunga who is being accused by Law Society of Kenya Mombasa branch Chairman Erick Nyongesa of frustrating the dispensation of justice to the coastal residents and failure to address their concerns despite sending him several petitions.
BY SAM ALFAN.
The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Mombasa branch is threatening to impeach the Chief Justice (CJ) Dr. Willy Mutunga for what the branch officials termed ‘gross impunity and autocracy in his leadership’.
The decision comes after the expiry of a two weeks ultimatum to the Chief Justice to address the branch’s concerns.
The LSK branch has in the past said the region is plagued by cases of court backlogs and sought the CJs intervention.
Raised concern ‘The CJ has failed in his administration of the judiciary and his tenure has heralded complete disregard of individual capacity, merit and experience among judicial officer whilst undertaking transfers and deployment of staff’ said LSK branch chairman Erick Nyongesa at a press office out the Mombasa law courts today.
Two weeks ago Mr. Nyongesa said cases of back log has reached alarming levels and ‘is bad for legal parties, the public and the legal justice system’.
The LSK regional official at the time claimed the biggest cause of back log is still corruption and wondered what become of Dr. Mutunga’s promises when he took over the stewardship of the justice system that he will stamp out the vice.
He said the judiciary lacks operation policy on staffing and deployment of judicial officers and supports staff in spite of the numerous publicized colorful blueprints on reforms.
The branch has rereleased a schedule of activities in demonstration of their protest to the CJ for his alleged failed administration.
On the 27 of this month the branch will set up a tent and officially commence the process for the collection of signatures in support of a petition to be presented to the Parliamentary Committee on the Administration of Justice.
‘On the same day we shall lead members to return to the pauper or pro bono briefs back to the registry until such a time that we shall receive postings for the replacement of transferred magistrate and judges’ said Nyongesa.
The branch will also in 21 days put a paid up advertisement in the daily newspapers detailing the failed administration of justice during which the watch of Dr. Mutunga.
‘The most ultimate act shall be to hire busses for our members and members of the public to travel to Nairobi and have a sit-in in the Supreme Court building’ he said.
Judiciary responded to complaints by LSK Mombasa branch saying they range from shortage of manpower, trainings for judicial officers to general administration and access to justice.
In their press statement, they said deployment of manpower across the Judiciary is guided by specific considerations such as caseload in court stations, the size of the population served and the constitutional requirement to take justice closer to the people.
“It is important to point out that the Judiciary continues to suffer a dearth of judicial officers and staff to meet the needs of the country” stated in their statement.
Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi in her statement said the branch complaints were incorrect since the station has five judges with a caseload of 10,423 matters.
“It is incorrect to allege discrimination when one considers that the station has five judges with a caseload of 10,423 matters, while the Milimani High Court Civil Division alone has five judges dealing with a caseload of 32,000 matters. Contrary to LSK’s assertion that Mombasa does not have a Deputy Registrar, the correct position is that a DR is in-post in Mombasa and a new one reports in two weeks’ time”. Says Amadi.
She further said judiciary will continue engaging with LSK to find solutions and options to the challenges we face.