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CJ Koome bans make shift courts over security concerns

 Chief Justice Martha Koome. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Chief Justice Martha Koome has barred judges and other judiciary staff from conducting court sessions in makeshift courtrooms on security and safety grounds.

According to her directive to the judicial officers, court sittings will now be conducted in permanent court buildings or be held virtually.

The directive will be effective on Wednesday June 19 when courts resume sessions with the exception of Makadara Law Courts which is undergoing security re-evaluation.

The announcement comes at a time when the judiciary is mourning the death of Makadara Law Courts Principal Magistrate Monica Kivuti who succumbed to gunshot wounds inflicted by a police officer in an open court.

“Going forward, judicial services will no longer be rendered in makeshift structures,” reads part of the statement.

CJ Koome says that the death of Hon. Kivuti in the line of duty ‘will not be in vain’ and should trigger the government to fund the construction of better facilities for the judiciary.

“It should be recalled that in the past, the judiciary has repeatedly requested the Executive and Parliament for sufficient resource allocation to upgrade our court facilities to standards that would guarantee efficient and safe execution of judicial duties. This goal is yet to be fully realised,” she said.

Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome, has addressed security concerns raised by the judiciary saying that the Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit (CIPU) and the Security of Government Buildings (SGB) unit of the National Police Service will continue providing heightened, round the clock security to courts.

“It is worth mentioning that it was the swift action by Police Court Orderlies that contained the Makadara shooting incident on that fateful day including the neutralisation of the perpetrator,” he said in his statement dated Monday June 17.

Despite the assurances from the police, CJ Koome has insisted that the arm of government she presides over will engage all relevant agencies to full proof the security of all judiciary installations.

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