New security measures as Makadara Law Courts reopen doors

The Judiciary has announced a phased re-opening of the Makadara Law Courts after a two-week closure following the fatal shooting of principal magistrate Monica Kivuti.

Chief Justice Martha Koome announced a set of measures that will be undertaken before the courts are opened to the public on Monday for plea taking.

In the series of coordinated plans, the reopening will take four phases beginning with the counselling of the judicial staff and magistrates on trauma caused to them by the incident.

This will take three days starting from June 24 to June 26. These measures will include individual and group counselling sessions led by professional counsellors.

At the same time, the Directorate of Building Services shall oversee the dismantling and removal of the makeshift structures at the courts.

The second phase will entail the meeting of the Court Users Committee (CUC) meant to discuss the modalities of resuming court operations and review the immediate security measures that have been put in place to facilitate this.

The CUC will guide on modalities of hearing and advise on the suitability of the virtual hearings. This will be done on June 27.

On June 28 the station shall reorganise the court diaries to assign new dates and implement the recommendations of the CUC on the modalities of resuming court operations before the re-opening on July 1.

However, only secured and fit-for-purpose courtrooms shall be used for plea taking.

“Pursuant to resolutions of the CUC, the Head of Station shall issue a notice on new dates for cases affected during the suspension period. This shall also include directions on mention dates, payment of cash bail and guidance on virtual hearings for the pending matters,” read part of the release by Justice Koome.

She also announced several security measures that shall be followed across all the courts in the country for safety.

These include thorough searches to ensure no one accesses the courtrooms with firearms, mandatory wearing of name tags and identification by the litigants and restricted parking at the judicial premises.

Each court station will be required to come up with measures to restrict access to the Judges’ and magistrates’ chambers, there shall be adequate deployment of staff and ICT equipment at the customer care desk as well as infrastructural security adjustments.

“The Judiciary Leadership Team, the HR Directorate, the Building, Infrastructure & Development Committee, and the Judiciary Security Management Committee shall in addition to these short-term measures work with other agencies to implement comprehensive long-term security measures so as to ensure the safety and well-being of all Judges, Judicial Officers, Staff and court users “ stated justice Koome.

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