Kenya: Koome Assures EU Observers of Judiciary’s Readiness to Handle Poll Disputes

Nairobi — Chief Justice Martha Koome has assured election observers of Judiciary’s readiness to handle electoral disputes highlighting key preparatory efforts to prepare the courts for election petitions.

Koome noted she had gazetted 120 special magistrate in February to enhance the capacity of courts to handle electoral disputes arising from the August 9 General Election.

The Chief Justice spoke when she hosted the European Union Election Observation Mission to Kenya at the Supreme Court on Friday.

Koome further noted the Judiciary Committee on Elections (JCE) has mounted training session for judges, judicial officers and staff.

“We are concluding the training of Deputy Registrars today, they are the ones who will be supervising the processes of scrutiny and recount of ballots where courts make orders to that effect,” she said.

Koome added that the courts were wrapping up and issuing the final round of pre-election dispute judgements on Friday.

This, she noted, will make it possible for the IEBC to conclude the process of printing ballot papers for the electoral contests where aggrieved aspirants had contested IEBC decision to lock them out.

“We are concluding the training of Deputy Registrars today, they are the ones who will be supervising the processes of scrutiny and recount of ballots where courts make orders to that effect,” she said.

The CJ further added that the Judiciary had identified special Election Offenses Courts to hear matters arising from hate speech in areas identified as hot spots by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission.

“I issued a directive to Judicial Officers in February to hear and determine such cases within four (4) months. Such expeditious determination of these matters will have a deterrence effect on the political class,” she added.

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