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Mutunga opens Naivasha court, warns against graft

26 March 2014, 15:59 Necesa Chemoi

Naivasha - Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has reiterated that graft will not be tolerated in the construction of courts across the country.

Speaking Wednesday when he opened a KES 125 million court building in Naivasha, Mutunga said action will be taken against those who will be found inflating construction costs.

"Court construction and rehabilitation is not a feeding trough for the greedy. The faintest whiff of corruption, the slightest hint of fraud in procurement or even the cheeky inflation of costs will be dealt with decisively," the CJ said.

He acknowledged that the Judicial Service Commission and Parliament had rightly questioned the costs of court construction, some of which looked exaggerated.

"I have directed that an immediate review be undertaken to ascertain that projects that have been financed either under the World Bank loan or the Government of Kenya funds do actually all exist," he added.

The Naivasha court building, which has been under construction for eight years, is the second the CJ has opened in as many days as part of a spot check on constructions around the country.

He began his tour of counties on Tuesday by opening the court building in Gatundu, Kiambu County, which have been upgraded to a Chief Magistrate's Court.

After inaugurating Naivasha, the Chief Justice will tour Bomet before heading to Migori and Homa Bay.

According to the CJ, all stalled court construction projects would be completed by June this year.

Present at the function was Naivasha MP, John Kihagi, who pledged to support the allocation of more funds for the Judiciary even as the Constituency Development Fund donated KES 1 million to furnish the new court.

Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua commended the Supreme Court for its support of the Constitution in its advisory opinion on devolution.

The CJ also opened a High Court registry is Naivasha to act as a collection point for cases and files to be heard by judges based in Nakuru.

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