Koome wants hate speech cases closed within four months

Chief Justice Martha Koome. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Chief Justice Martha Koome has directed judicial officers to identify all hate speech cases pending in courts and ensure they conclude in four months.

She also directed that all matters related to the previous General Election be concluded before July 31, in accordance with the constitutional timelines.

Addressing 141 Chief Magistrate attending their ninth annual heads of stations forum in Eldoret, the CJ said the conclusion of the pending cases would help the Judiciary in expeditious disposal of emerging disputes as the country nears the General Election.

Koome said the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) had raised concerns about delays in hearing and determination hate speech cases.

“The General Election is scheduled to take place in August. We must be prepared to handle all election-related disputes expeditiously and fairly,” she said.

“To deal with the problem about delays as raised by NCIC, I direct heads of stations to identify all pending hate speech cases in your stations and work out modalities with the trial courts to fast-track their resolution. All pending hate speech cases ought to be concluded within four months from today.”

Koome also directed that a progress report on implementation of her directive be forwarded from each court station to the registrar of the Magistrates’ courts within three months for compilation and transmission to her office.

She said the Judiciary Committee on Elections was implementing the Judiciary’s election preparedness work-plan that includes training of judicial officers.