In bid to ensure sustainability of judiciary transformation and clear the growing backlog, the Nakuru Law Courts will dispense more than 250 cases involving children during this year’s children service week.
Addressing media on Monday during the opening ceremony, Principal Magistrate Joe Omido revealed of the 13 magistrates, six have been assigned to handle the cases where the children are either complainants, victims, abandoned or neglected.
The PM added that they are taking advantage of the August holidays so that they can handle as many cases as possible when children are available to come to courts.
“We want to ensure that all children cases are dispensed during this service week, in the holidays children will be available to attend to court,” Said Omido.
This even as Nakuru Chief Magistrate Godfrey Oduor said 255 cases have been listed for hearing.
According to CM Oduor, justice shall not be delayed as child based interest are of paramount importance adding that children are a foundation of the society.“Children interest are of paramount importance their cases should be given great priority” he said.
According to prosecutor Sandra Kosgey, the children should be allowed to testify adding that parents fond of negotiating to withdraw defilement cases will be prosecuted.
“Children should be allowed to testify, cases such as defilement are not meant for withdrawal and the law does not allow, avoid negotiating such cases,” said Kosgei.
On his part,LSK Rift Valley Chapter President Ochang’ Ajingo said that the law on defilement does not favor men and said there is need for amendment.
He noted that in instances where the both the accused and the victim are minors, the boy ended up suffering more than the girl.
United States embassy representative, Stacy De La Torre assured Kenyans of their support in handling children cases through funding and pushing for faster cases solving and also echoed the good governance of the Kenyan Justice department in handling cases.
“Kenya is a stable nation which handles criminal cases with stability. The United States is willing to help courts to act fair, have balance and be just and concerned for the children’s rights,” said Torre.
The opening ceremony brought together members of Law Society of Kenya, Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, United States Embassy, National Council for Administration for Justice, Children Department among others.
PHOTO/Okata:Judiciary staff on Monday during the opening of this year’s children service week at the Nakuru Law courts.