By Daniel Nzia
Machakos, Kenya: The Judiciary will dedicate three judges to Machakos to help reduce the backlog of 800 pending criminal appeals.
The judges will be forwarded to the county during the one-week service exercise.
Resident judge, Lady Justice Lillian Mutende, said three judges will hear the appeals beginning Monday through Friday next week.
The exercise is a partnership between the Judiciary, Directorate of Public Prosecution, Law Society of Kenya, and Prisons and Probation departments who are critical court users.
She said the judges will include herself, Lady Justice Beatrice Jaden and Lady Justice Lucy Gacheru who has been seconded from Nairobi.
“The one-week service exercise aims to speed up the pending appeals for condemned prisoners in our endeavour to decongest the prisons,” she said.
Speaking at the Court Users Committee meeting at the Machakos High Court, Justice Mutende said the climax of the service week will be the official launch at the GK Prisons in Machakos on Monday morning.
Justice Mutende, accompanied by Justice Jaden, Chief Principal Magistrate Peter Gesora, Deputy Registrar Rose Makungu and LSK chairman, Lower Eastern, Andrew Makundi, announced the suspension of hearing of other matters during the service week programme.
“Each of the three judges will hear at least 15 matters daily and will spend the week of October 21 to 25, writing the judgements,” she added.
It was reported that the DPP’s office will make available five state counsels to prosecute the cases while virtually all the Machakos lawyers will offer pro bono services to the prisoners.
The Judiciary has been holding the service week country-wide in a move aimed to reduce the backlog of cases, some of which have taken as long as eight years to determine.