by Ali Nur (Citizen Weekly)
April 17th, 2023: There is a crisis at the Mombasa Law Courts for the last two weeks as only one or two courts have been operating and handling all criminal and civil matters. The predicament has been brought about after four magistrates were transferred and others promoted to judges without replacement.
One magistrate died during the lockdown. Elvis Mishieka died on December 2, 2020, at the height of the monstrous pandemic while receiving medication at a local hospital. Mombasa Law Courts have not received his replacement.
Evans Makori, former chief magistrate was promoted to judge of the High Court after President William ruto’s inauguration while his two counterparts, Chief Magistrate Francis Kyambia and Edna Nyaloti and Christine Ogweno were transferred to Makadara, Nakuru, and Kisii law courts in that order.
The most recent transfer was that of Ritah Amwayi who was moved to Kaloleni Law Courts. A spot check indicated that only two courts our of 13 are operating leading to the crisis. Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku of court one and Martin Rabera at Mombasa county court who also announced that he was only giving mention dates since he is on transfer are the only ones on duty.
A court clerk who requested not to be mentioned said that Court 13 magistrate Rita Orora, court 5 magistrated Vincent Adet, and Court 2 magistrate Kalo are away on official duties.
Speaking to the press, Mombasa High Court lawyer Geoffrey Were appealed to Cheif Justice Martha Koome to consider sending a replacment for the magistrate promoted and transferred out of Mombasa and the one who has passed on.
“For the past two weeks, lawyers, our clients and prison wardens have suffered. You come to court and only one court is seating,” he said.
(This story by Ali Nur published in Citizen Weekly is not available online.)