Protesters stormed Annual Judges’ Colloquium at Saraova Whitesands in Mombasa on Thursday where they called out the Judicial Service Commission for undermining judicial reforms and integrating corruption into the practice.
The placard-carrying women, chanting ‘Haki Yetu’, accused some of the judges of serving the interests of local drug lords.
The women accompanied by local boda boda riders threatened to force their way into the hotel where the meeting was being held but were repulsed by the hotel security and the police.
The group now wants the judges to be dismissed, further, calling for the resignation of Chief Justice David Maraga.
Is it possible that our ever prepared and alert NIS did not know of these skirmishes to disrupt Judges’ Colloquium at White Sands? Who is is behind the protest? Who is the target of the protest? Will the Judiciary speak against it? ^DoS pic.twitter.com/gvXORUvggk
— Nelson Havi (@NelsonHavi) August 22, 2019
Maraga was forced to leave the forum to address the group.
He urged the protestors to table a formal complaint for action to be taken against the alleged corrupt individuals.
“Do you have any memorandum you have written? I cannot address your issues without a memorandum,” said the CJ.
“I can’t deny that there could be people in the Judiciary who are involved in that. Just like the police who could be involved.
Citing the Akasha brothers’ case, the group accused the judiciary of doing little to clear a backlog of cases in courts.
The said it is illogical for the US to convict the Akasha brothers within three years while the Kenyan justice system failed to do the same in over 10 years.
In response, CJ said, “the cases of Akasha didn’t start yesterday. Those are cases which have been there for years and years. After they were arrested and flown to the US they pleaded guilty.”
This comes amid efforts by the government to fight drug trafficking in the coast region.
The renewed war on drugs this week led to the reshuffle of top security bosses in the region.
The three affected officers are Coast Regional Police Commander Marcus Ocholla, County Police Commander Johnston Ipara and County Commissioner Evans Achoki.
The reshuffles follow controversial raid at drugs suspect Ali Punjani’s palatial home last week.
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i recently vowed to crush drug lords in the region, saying the illegal venture was behind the recent Bamburi attacks.