The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has taken exception to a sudden transfer of prosecutors without replacements, causing delays in litigation.
This is after the State counsels were issued with transfer letters requiring them to report to new stations within two weeks.
Through the Kakamega Chapter LSK President Charles Matete, the lawyers lamented that cases had to be "unnecessarily adjourned, delaying justice".
"This year, we've had acute shortage of prosecutors. As if that was not enough, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has transferred some of these counsels, which has an impact of creating a huge backlog of cases, a challenge we have been dealing with for long," said Mr Matete, adding that he shall write a formal complaint to the DPP protesting the action.
He contended that Kakamega Main Prison was congested with remandees whose cases had stalled due to the issue that could have been avoided.
"Personally, I had two old matters today; one for 2014 the other for 2015. Though my clients have been in custody since their arrest and attend court religiously, the cases had to be adjourned due to lack of prosecution counsels," added the regional LSK boss.
Patrick Gumo, the Western Region Senior Assistant DPP, however said the transfers were in line with the policy guidelines to have a prosecutor not to remain in any station for more than four years.
He acknowledged that the region had been grappling with shortage of prosecutors, but the same had been addressed in 2019/20 budget.
“Four prosecutors from the Western region have been moved where three are from Kakamega. However, only one has a replacement, but the office of the DPP is soon hiring staff this financial year to address the acute shortage," he said.
Other regions hit by the shortage are Butere, Vihiga, Mumias and Hamisi court stations.
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