CJ Maraga Suspends Court Sessions In Mombasa After 11 Employees Tested Positive For Coronavirus

Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio and Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kang'ata pay courtesy call on CJ David Maraga yesterday June 15 [Photo/Courtesy]

Court sessions in Mombasa county stand suspended after 11 staff members tested positive for the novel COVID-19.

In a statement, Chief Justice David Maraga said that contact tracing has kicked off and 118 close contacts of the infected persons have since been traced.

The CJ noted that among the eleven are Judicial officers and registry staff. They mainly work in the main court building, the city court and the Tononoka children’s court.

“Their primary contacts within the courts totalling 118 officers have been identified and must now go into self-quarantine with immediate effect,” Maraga said.

While suspending all open court sessions, the president of the apex court said that services will still be offered online.

“We shall, however, as much as possible, endeavor to offer online and other virtual services to court users,” he added.

On June 10, the CJ reopened courts with the promise of scaling up operations while adhering to ministry of health guidelines in containing the spread of the virus.

“To promote social distancing we shall limit the number of people physically accessing the courts at any given time. Kindly cooperate with the officers responsible at the court entrances,” the statement read in part.

The judiciary said that priority would be given to cases affected by the closure in March.

Maraga has in the past week been in a tussle with the executive arm of government.

He accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of derailing the process of swearing in 41 judges.

In what some viewed as a public lynching, the Chief Justice said the head of state was responsible for the backlog experienced in Kenyan courts.

“I have for a long time now unsuccessfully sought an appointment to discuss this issue with you, leaving me no choice but to raise the matter through this public statement; you swore to defend and uphold the constitution and the laws of Kenya,” the CJ lamented.

On Friday last week, defamatory banners of the president of the judiciary were erected along major roads in Nairobi.

They indicated a “vicious fight” against Maraga and the Judiciary was about to begin.

“We wish to repeat this appeal today, and again request the Inspector General of Police, the DCI to investigate and do everything in their power to find and punish those responsible,” the Judiciary said in a statement.

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Written by Eva Nyambura

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