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Minor traffic offenders will not be held in police custody, CJ Willy Mutunga says

By Peace Loise Mbae | October 23rd 2015
FROM LEFT: A representative from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Deputy Chief Executive Officer Michael Mubea and the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet during the launch of guidelines on handling of traffic matters in Nairobi Thursday. [PHOTO: PKEMOI NG’ENOH/STANDARD]

NAIROBI: Minor traffic offenders should not be forced to pay cash bail or be held in police custody but instead they should be issued with notices to attend court or summons, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has said.

Dr Mutunga, who presided over the launch of the traffic pocket-size guidelines at Makadara Law Courts said the new code was meant to quicken traffic cases and enlighten motorists on road safety rules and regulations.

The pocket-size guidelines created through a partnership between various Government stakeholders is one of the judicial reforms strategies.

The code will be issued to each court in a bid to fast track traffic cases, decongest the courts and deal with the bottlenecks in processing and adjudication of traffic offenses.

The CJ said minor traffic offenders should not be forced to pay cash bail or be put in police custody but instead issued with "notices to attend court or summons".

Mutunga said corruption has for a long time been rooted in the traffic department and urged Kenyans to join in the fight against the vice.

"In the traffic sector, corruption has become the norm, and that is why we are engaged in this joint fight as justice sector institutions," he said.

The CJ said the Government needs the help of all Kenyans and agencies that deal with prosecution, investigation and adjudication of traffic cases.

"To be successful in this epic fight, Kenyans must resolve to be part of the solution to obey the laws and reject bribery and be part of the solution," he said.

Mutunga said corruption must be dealt with in a tough manner by relevant Government agencies even if it hurts the powerful people involved.

"The directions on traffic cases that we are launching will no doubt negatively impact on some vested interests in the police, courts, prosecution and some sections of the public," he said.

streamline operations

"Many agencies have in the past come up with proposals on statutory amendments to help streamline operations. But good laws are not a guarantee that the objectives will be achieved," he added.

Mutunga said the Judiciary was working on creating efficiency in the courts by fast tracking cases. This came after inspections in Kibera, Milimani, Thika and Kiambu law courts among others. "One of the negative elements that we unearthed were the "parallel" courts operated by court brokers within or right outside the court premises," he said.

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