Kenya’s Chief Justice David Maraga has presented figures to show how the executive arm of government is trying to “cripple the judiciary” through budget cuts.
He said judiciary’s operations had been severely impacted by the spending cuts, leading to suspension of court of appeal sessions in four major towns and stalling of mobile courts.
The judiciary had requested $315m; £245m for the current financial year, which was reduced to $145m; £113m.
The allocation was further cut down to$115m as part of measures to reduce government spending.
“They want to control the judiciary, they want to make the judiciary a puppet,” he told a rare press conference.
“I am making this statement very conscious that the economy is not doing well, but let the little there is be shared equally,” Justice Maraga said.
“Give us a reasonable percentage of the budget. But don’t throw us to the treasury to go there and be told to wait and wait, even the little you can’t access.”
The chief justice accused the government of “impunity” in paying compensations ordered by courts.
“I am not saying the government has endless resources to pay anything, but if the orders have been made against the government and they have not appealed, or they have appealed and lost, then let them pay. That is what happens in civilised countries.”
Justice Maraga said he expects a “flurry of attacks” after his statement.