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Courts, cells are filthy, some lack washrooms — report

By Everlyne Kwamboka | August 16th 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

A report by the Judiciary paints a grim picture of court services, especially hygiene, even as the number of litigants seeking justice continues to rise.

Litigants in some parts of the country have to travel for more than 20 kilometres to access justice, with some of them standing throughout the court session due to inadequate sitting or waiting areas.

The details are contained in the Court User Satisfaction Survey undertaken by the Judiciary in June and July 2019 to gauge the performance of courts in the areas of access to justice.

“The Judiciary has repeatedly sought the views of court users and has been open to feedback, both positive and negative, with respect to our services,” said Chief Justice David Maraga a while back.

For litigants who have to answer to the call of nature, respondents in the survey registered the lowest satisfaction, saying the amenities were inadequate and dirty.

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In some of the holding cells, inmates still use buckets as latrines. 

"In a bid to maintain cleanliness, court stations such as Kericho, Machakos, Kitale and Murang'a were charging court users fees (between Sh5 and Sh10) to use clean toilets," reads the report.

The report shows there are no washrooms for the public at the Kilgoris, Mombasa, Ndhiwa and Bomet law courts. The report recommends that magistrates’ courts without proper sanitation be renovated to accommodate washrooms for court users.

For persons living with disabilities, 69 per cent of those interviewed said there was inadequate provision of facilities to cater for them.

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