The Judiciary has announced plans to set up two new courts in Nairobi in a move aimed at decongesting courts in the city, according to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga.
The courts, which will be established at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and in Kasarani estate, will be operational by the beginning of next year.
Willy Mutunga said that the move has been necessitated by the need to ensure all cases are expeditiously dealt with.
“The judiciary recognises that Makadara Law Courts is presently congested. To deal with this problem let me announce that Judiciary will be setting up courts at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as well as a magistrate’s court in Kasarani,” he stated.
The CJ, who was speaking yesterday morning at Makadara Law Courts when he launched new directions on traffic cases alongside the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet also maintained that time consumed during a court process was among factors encouraging corruption in the corridors of justice.
KENYA’S NEW TRAFFIC RULES
Mutunga and Boinnet launched a 10-point traffic regulation, which among other things stipulates that; No traffic offender shall be held by police for offences punishable by only a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months according to new directions on traffic cases.
“Today we are launching the Pocket Size Directions on traffic cases which are aimed at fast tracking traffic cases; decongestion and dealing with the bottlenecks in processing and adjudication of traffic cases,” he said and urged motorists to ensure that they get a copy of the booklet to stay informed.
“These rules are meant to assist such wananchi to pay their fines in a very easy and convenient way. Corruption also thrives when there is no information. This leaflet has been designed to fit a driver’s license folder so that motorists can carry it with them. And they apply to all justice sector agencies including the police.”
Boinnet urged motorists to stop fueling corruption by bribing traffic officers.
“Corruption is two ways; the giver and the taker…we will now be able to simplify the matter so that when an individual commit on offence, you don’t have to plead with anybody to pay for the lock jam you find yourself in,” he said.
Below is a list of the new traffic regulations;
- No accused persons in traffic cases will be locked up in cells without first being granted time, place and adequate facilities to pay fines or bail.
- Traffic courts shall process payment of traffic fines in open court.
- Release on reasonable bail or bond conditions pending charge or trial, for all other traffic offenders, shall be fast-tracked.
- A suspected offender shall be issued with court summons or a Notification to Attend Court (NTAC) on a convenient date within seven days. The notice shall state charges and indicate the maximum penalty.
- The offender must attend court on the date and time indicated in the NTAC to take plea.
Before plea is taken, the magistrate shall ensure that any cash bail collected by the Police from the suspect / accused is available in court.
- The offender must remit to court the maximum amount payable for the offence (s) cited if he or she opts to plead guilty in writing upon issuance of the NTAC.
- Committal warrant for prison custody will only be issued if the offender is unable to pay the fine / cash bail after reasonable time and facilities.
- If the offender does not attend court, the cash bail will be forfeited and a warrant of arrest issued.