The Judiciary and the Executive through Huduma Kenya on Sunday, January 28, clarified the legality of offering judicial services at Huduma Centres across the country.
This was after Chief Justice Martha Koome, Huduma Kenya Chief Executive Officer Ben Chilumo and Attorney General Justin Muturi were sued concerning the move.
In a case filed by Carolyne Kamende Daudi, it was argued that the Judiciary was collaborating with the Executive in a way that undermined its independence.
Responding concerning the issue, Huduma Kenya noted that the law had been followed and the plan had been in the offing since 2021.
Huduma Centre agents at a waiting bay.
“The need for Judiciary desks at Huduma was borne on the need to enhance access to justice for citizens and deepened partnerships that enhance coordination in the administration of justice,” it was explained.
The idea of having Judicial services was first floated on July 16, 2021, during the National Council on Administration of Justice (NCAJ) Special State Actors meeting.
During the meeting, it was agreed that launching the Huduma Centre Judiciary Desk would improve access to justice for all Kenyans.
Three months after the NCAJ, a court ruled that within 30 days, there should be implementation of initiatives and programmes that would ensure access to courts and services by members of the public and advocates.
“On November 21, 2023, Chief Justice Martha Koome appointed the Steering Committee for the engagement comprising of three senior officers from the Judiciary and officers of the Huduma Kenya Secretariat chaired by Justice Kanyi Kimondo, presiding Judge of the Criminal Division,” Huduma Kenya noted.
Members of the public were also assured that measures had been put in place to protect customers from fraudsters purporting to offer legal assistance at Huduma centres.
“The Court registry staff at Huduma Centres will ensure they serve representatives of law firms or Advocates upon presentation of ID cards from their respective law firms or Advocates,” it was reported.
Additionally, access to the Judiciary desks will only be made through the Service by Appointment (SBA) system.
According to Huduma Kenya, this will ensure that the customers are registered and queued electronically as a move to identify and weed out fraudsters.
The Supreme Court of Kenya building
Judiciary of Kenya