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Boost for Muslims as CJ swears in 21 Kadhis

10 November 2015, 15:02 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has sworn in 21 Kadhis Court judges, raising the number to 56 in an effort to address shortage in resolving Islamic cases.

Mutunga said the Judiciary undertook to increase the Kadhis to be posted in needy and marginalized areas to facilitate access to justice due to exponential increase in demand of Kadhis court services and rising number of Kenyans professing Islamic faith.

“It is notable that as we swear in 21 new Kadhis today, only four years ago, we only had 15 Kadhis. This recruitment is intended to respond to this challenge and improve on access to justice within the Muslim community,” said Mutunga.

The Kadhis deal with cases relating to marriage, divorce and succession among Muslim faithfuls. Some of proposed areas where the 21 kadhis will be deployed include Lafey, Ijara, Elwak, Eldas, Bute and Hulugho in North Eastern, and Faza, Lunga Lunga, Mariakani and Msambweni in Coast region while others will be posted to Busia, Kericho, Chuka, Hamisi, Kitui, Kendu Bay and Kapsabet among other areas.

Mutunga added that the kadhis are now duly recognized members of the Judiciary guaranteed to the status, esteem and benefits others in the institution enjoy, unlike in the past when the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) did not include the kadhis court jurists in the Judiciary Scheme of Service.

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“The Chief Kadhi is now ranked at the same level as the Chief Magistrate and other corresponding rankings cascade further downwards. This is a significant development that we must all appreciate,” said Mutunga.

He stated that the Judiciary Training Institute will offer an induction course to the sworn in kadhis in preparing them to undertake the assigned duties as judicial officers before being posted to their respective stations.

However, Mutunga asked the kadhis to adhere to ethical principles, values and conduct guiding judicial officers in discharging their duties.  

“This is public service; not a personal benefit or enrichment career. You must remain true to your oath of office, the teachings of the Holy Koran, and the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya. You must undertake your duties with integrity, fairness and steadfast morality,” he said.

The CJ affirmed the Judiciary will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against any kadhi and judicial officers engaging in corruption and pointed out tha JSC has elevated its fight against the vice.

“If judges are found culpable, the JSC will recommend tribunals, as it already has in one instance; and where other judicial officers such as Magistrates and Kadhis or administrative staff are involved, it shall take stern disciplinary measures,” warned the CJ.

The JSC interviewed the sworn in 21 kadhis in September 2015, and join 35 others, totaling to 56 in the country.

In 2012, the Judiciary hired 23 Kadhis, which was the largest number of Islamic judges to be recruited at once.

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