Maraga: My plan is to settle in Nakuru

Chief Justice David Maraga (centre), Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui (left) and Nominated MP Gideon Keter during the official launch of Nakuru Law Court. [Harun Wathari, Standard]

Chief Justice David Maraga leaves office on Friday next week pending his retirement. 

Maraga yesterday said a handover ceremony will be held on January 10, next year.  

Speaking in Nakuru when he inaugurated a Sh347 million court building, the CJ said he would settle at his home in the county, where he practised law for years.

“I plan to retire here in Nakuru where I practised law for 25 years before I became a judge.

"Nakuru has a special place in my heart and that is why I decided to have this function today as the last major public engagement of my career as the CJ,” Maraga said.

The CJ said he has overseen the setting up of 43 High Court stations in 42 counties and he intends to open three magistrate court stations before he leaves.

The new building has eight courts that will host High Courts and the Courts of Appeal. The building has 12 chambers for the judges.

Maraga said the law courts will host judicial partners, the Director of Public Prosecutions, prisons officers, probation offices and the police.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said the county will install WiFi services to enable litigants attend cases virtually as Kenya battles Covid-19.

Kinyanjui said the county will open Nyayo Gardens as a place where court users will rest as they wait for their cases to be heard.

“We intend to construct roads to enable litigants and judicial officers to travel from Nakuru to Nairobi with ease,” Kinyanjui said.

Construction works

Lawyer Kipkoech Ngetich from Law Society of Kenya said the initiative will ensure the security of all parties in a case.

“In the old court, a magistrate was stabbed, suspects attempted escape and other warring parties exchanged blows.

"However, the new building has structures and space to ensure all litigants and judicial officers are secure,” Ngetich said.

The project was funded by the World Bank in a five-year plan under the Judicial Performance Improvement Programme.

The project includes modern multi-storied buildings to host High Courts in Mombasa, Kakamega, Siaya, Nakuru, Voi and Garissa counties.

The CJ and his team have been traversing the country to commission pending construction works.