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Maraga’s outcry pays off as Treasury restores Judiciary funds

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CJ Maraga's outcry pays off as Treasury restores Judiciary funds

  • Mercy Asamba 07th Nov 2019 18:20:02 GMT +0300
Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi. (File, Standard)

The National Treasury has restored Judiciary’s recurrent and development budget for the financial year 2019/2020. In an internal memo, the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Ann Amadi stated that implementation of all approved activities should, therefore, proceed as planned. “We are pleased to inform you that the Judiciary’s Recurrent and Development budget for financial year 2019/20 has been restored and the budget for the half-year been uploaded in IFMIS as approved by the National Assembly. Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE’s) for the court stations and Tribunals are being processed and will be issued in the shortest time possible,” she said. The move comes days after Chief Justice David Maraga hit out at the Executive for slashing the Judiciary’s budget, which had led to the withdrawal of essential services.

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In a televised address, a furious Maraga told Kenyans to brace for delays in the handling of cases and lack of basic services unless the Treasury rescinds its decision to cut the Judiciary’s budget by Sh3 billion. Dozens of courts around the country had shut down over crippling budget cuts. “Judges will not have money to fuel their vehicles, we will not have mobile courts, we will not have the Court of Appeal circuits, we will not be able to pay for wi-fi for e-filing and e-payments and plans to automate the anti-corruption courts have fallen by the wayside,” he said.

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The Treasury slashed Judiciary’s budget by Sh3 billion last month, citing revenue deficits and need to raise funds for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda. The Judiciary had requested Sh31.2 billion but Parliament allocated it Sh14.5 billion, which Treasury cut to Sh11.5 billion.

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The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) moved to court on October 25 to challenge the budget cuts saying the move was likely to paralyse operations at the Judiciary. The society obtained interim orders, among them orders compelling the Treasury to fully implement the duly approved Judiciary budget. And yesterday, LSK got an extension of the Court orders pending the hearing and determination of the case logged. The case comes up for a mention on November 27, 2019.

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