In a significant development, President William Ruto and Chief Justice Martha Koome have successfully concluded a pivotal meeting at State House, Nairobi. This meeting, prompted by allegations of corruption within the Judiciary, resulted in the agreement on a comprehensive six-point agenda. The key issues addressed during the meeting include the recruitment of 36 new judges and the augmentation of resources for the Judiciary’s operational efficiency.
Following the constructive discussions, it was decided that the Executive and Legislature would actively support the Judiciary’s request for an increased budget. This financial boost is intended to enhance the delivery of services and intensify the ongoing battle against corruption within the judicial system. The statement released after the meeting explicitly mentioned the commitment to facilitate the recruitment of 25 Judges for the High Court and 11 new Judges for the Court of Appeal. Additionally, resources would be allocated to conclude the vehicle leasing program, addressing the transport needs of the judiciary.
A significant aspect of the agreement revolves around the commitment of the three arms of government – Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary – to uphold and respect institutional independence. This commitment is a crucial step towards ensuring that each branch of government operates autonomously, free from undue influence. The statement highlighted, “The Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary commit to performing their functions in a manner that respects, promotes, and enhances the rule of law, institutional independence, and respect for court decisions.”
In a proactive move, the branches of government agreed to individually develop policies, guidelines, regulations, and legislative proposals. These initiatives are aimed at achieving multifaceted objectives, including combating corruption, improving service delivery, and enhancing institutional accountability across all arms of the government. The development of these frameworks will be carried out independently, reflecting a collective commitment to addressing governance challenges.
The parties involved in the agreement have set a clear timeline, with each branch of government committing to presenting their proposals within the next 30 days. These proposals will be presented to a National Council of the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) forum chaired by Chief Justice Martha Koome. This forum will serve as a platform for evaluating and deliberating on the proposed policies, ensuring transparency and collaboration in the decision-making process.
All three branches of government acknowledged the pervasive threat posed by corruption, recognizing its infiltration into every aspect of governance. President Ruto’s recent assertion that corruption is prevalent within the Judiciary was met with a commitment to address and rectify the issue. The branches are determined to confront corruption head-on, safeguarding the integrity of the judicial system.