Shortage of magistrates hits Bungoma law courts
30 March 2016, 09:51
Bungoma - Residents and court users have decried the shortage of magistrates at the Bungoma law courts which has delayed dispensation of cases.
Speaking in Bungoma, Mr.Martin Wanyonyi the executive director, Western Kenya legal aid organization said that majority of magistrates have been transferred while others have been sacked by the Judges and Magistrates vetting board.
“This has led to the shortage we are currently facing, the court users are suffering, the few magistrates cannot handle the available matters leading to the backlog of cases,” he said.
Wanyonyi said that despite having eight court rooms only three magistrates are available in Bungoma law courts.
He said last year two magistrates were sacked by the Judges and Magistrates vetting board which found them unfit to hold public offices for being implicated in malpractices such as corruption.
“Since Miss Teresia Ngugi and Stephen Mogute were sacked last year they have not been replaced, this has led to increase in the backlog of cases, we want more magistrates deployed in Bungoma to ease the dispensation of cases, justice delayed is justice denied,” he said.
He called on Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to visit Bungoma law courts and see for himself how the locals are suffering “The few magistrates only mentions the cases or sets other dates because they are unable to handle cases in whose magistrates were transferred or sacked,”.
His sentiments were echoed by Kenya Law Society Western Chapter chairman Andrew Kituyi who said that lack of magistrates in the lower courts has paralyzed operations at the Bungoma law courts.
“There are over 4,000 pending cases that have not been concluded for the last 16 years because of few judicial officers to handle the cases.
"We want justice to be served well and am calling on the government to post more magistrates here so that they are able to handle the cases on time to avoid the backlogs being experienced currently because it hurts the local Mwananchi," he said.
He said that the Judiciary is disabled and the government should find a solution on how to handle it so that the pending cases in Bungoma done expeditiously.
“The Judiciary is not minding its people, this has led to paralyzed operations at the Bungoma lower courts, post enough judicial officers so that they can be able to handle the cases on time,” said Kituyi
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