The Elgeyo Marakwet Court Users Committee (CUC) has called on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to fast-track the gazzettment of Chesoi and Chepkorio law courts for residents of Marakwet East and Keiyo South sub-counties to access judicial services with ease.
The CUC called on the JSC to facilitate the equipping of the two courts, post-judicial officers, and other staff to save litigants from travelling from far-flung areas to access justice in Iten.
The secretary to the CUC, David Barasa, who is also the County Director of Probation Services, presented a memo on behalf of the CUC that called for the setting up of a witness protection unit to mainly offer protection to witnesses in banditry cases.
‘Most banditry and stock theft cases go unreported, while most cases are thrown out for lack of witnesses as they are afraid to come to court to give evidence,’ the director told the JSC team, which was on a visit to the Iten courts led by Everlyne Olwande.
The CUC also called for the posting of two more prosecutors to the Iten Court, saying currently there are only two prosecutors serving three law courts.
They said the shortage of enough prosecutors was occasioning delays in hearings and causing unnecessary adjournments of cases.
The Secretary General of LSK North Rift, Daniel Tarigo, called on the judiciary to strengthen the internet connection at the Iten law courts, saying most of the time advocates from Eldoret are forced to attend court physically in Iten due to weak internet.
On his part, Judge Mohamed Ibrahim called on lawyers in Eldoret to offer pro bono services to litigants in Iten, the majority of whom cannot afford to hire the services of a lawyer.
‘There are few lawyers based here in Iten, and despite the fact that they are overwhelmed by the many cases they have to handle, I would urge them to spare time and also offer pro bono services to residents who cannot afford to hire them,’ he said.
The JSC promised to present the CUC presentations to the National Council for Administration of Justice (NCAJ) for action.
They also thanked the county government, through Governor Wisley Rotich, for providing two acres to the judiciary.
Source: Kenya News Agency