Kenya: Judiciary Will Stall If Govt Implements Budget Cuts - Amadi

21 November 2019

Nairobi — The judiciary may not be able to operate as it is required after February 2020 if the proposed budget cuts are effected.

This is according to Judiciary's Chief Registrar Anne Amadi who appeared before Senate Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC).

Amadi said Judiciary requires even more funding to execute its mandate without interference.

The situation will be so dire that even litigants may have to provide papers and tonners for their judgments to be printed.

"We understand that we are in an economy where majority of us are poor and adding that burden on members of the public will not be good for our nation. Our budget for general supplies was Sh244 million and we have already spent Sh197 million so a proposed cut of 50 percent will give us Sh122 million which is less than what we have already spent. So we will have negative balance on general office supply," Amadi said.

She called on the Senate committee to intervene and ask their National Assembly counterparts to reject the proposed budget cuts by the Treasury for the interest of the public, insisting that the move will negatively affect not only the judiciary but the nation at large.

"We are supposed to have a High Court station in each and every county and a subordinate court in every sub-county but as we speak now, 8 counties are yet to have a High Courts and over 100 sub-counties do not have the said courts," she added.

The senate committee led by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei pledged to convince their counterparts to reject the supplementary budget proposals.

"We are behind you and we know what you mean when you say your operations will be affected and some of your projects stalled. We pray that when you appear before the National Assembly committee you will be able to paint the same picture to them," Cherargei said.

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr. held a different opinion and urged the Judiciary to also take drastic action like shutting down all the anti-corruption courts if their budget is slashed.

"We wish you the best as you continue to defend your budget but if the worse comes to worst and your budget is cut, then do not punish every Kenyan just make sure all the anti-corruption courts are closed down," Mutula advised.

A supplementary budget tabled in Parliament last week proposes a Sh3.3 billion cut of the Sh18 billion judiciary funding.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani recently sanctioned all ministries, departments and agencies to rationalize their expenditure to address prevailing revenue shortfalls, the aim being to Finance the Jubilee government's Big Four agenda.

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