Chief Justice David Maraga has asked Magistrates to fast track the determination of election cases on time.

The CJ also said the magistrates and Kadhis should be responsive to national issues that may affect the elections while handling such matters.

“As we go into the elections, let us ensure that all hate speech cases are properly handled. Magistrates have to look at the welfare of the country,” he said.

He further said the judicial officers should observe high levels of integrity to maintain public confidence in the Judiciary.

Maraga was speaking during the opening of the annual Magistrates and Kadhis Colloquium in Nairobi on Monday. He said it was through timely delivery of judicial services while ensuring high standards of integrity that the public will have confidence in the institution.

“The greatest asset in the Judiciary is public confidence in what we do. The moment we lose it, we shall have lost all. We need to make sure we keep it,” said Justice Maraga.

Chief justice David Maraga speaking during the opening of the annual Magistrates and Kadhis Colloquium in Nairobi

He added that he will stand by the officers whenever they are falsely accused of engaging in malpractices.  However, all accusations against judicial officers that are brought to his attention will be investigated and the appropriate action taken, he said.

The Chief Justice emphasized the need for digitization of court records and retrieval systems to ensure efficiency in handling court matters. “The Judiciary must digitize its records and there is no reason why a whole arm of government can’t digitize its records,” said the Chief Justice.

He promised to fully implement his blue-print, dubbed Sustaining Judiciary Transformation, and asked the judicial officers to work hard and help him deliver on his promises.

Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi asked the Magistrates to remain sober and handle election petitions without being dragged into the elections mess caused by politicians during the campaign and election period.