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Mourning Period, Increased Court Security & Other Directives CJ Koome Ordered After Monica Kivuti Death

Kivuti had succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained on June 13 while holding an active court session at the law courts.

Chief Justice Martha Koome on Saturday, June 15 issued a series of directives following the death of Makadara Chief Magistrate Monica Kivuti at the Nairobi Hospital.

In a statement, the CJ, while mourning the late Kivuti, revealed that she visited her alongside CJ Emeritus David Maraga, President of the Court of Appeal Daniel Musinga, JSC Commissioners Evelyn Olwande and Caroline Nzilani, and Chief Registrar Winfridah Mokaya on Friday, June 14, 2024, at noon.

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Kivuti had succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained on June 13 while holding an active court session at the law courts.

“We received positive feedback regarding her response to treatment from the dedicated medical personnel attending to her at The Nairobi Hospital. At about midnight on 14th June 2024, I received the heartbreaking news that despite their best efforts and our collective prayers, Hon. Kivuti had succumbed to the extensive injuries sustained during the attack,” CJ Koome stated in part.

Photo of Makadara Law Courts Principal Magistrate, Monica Kivuti. /LINKEDIN

Following the unfortunate news, the Chief Justice called a special convening of the Judiciary Leadership Team (JLT) which brings together the leadership of all five Superior Courts, the Magistracy, Kadhis Courts, Tribunals, the Magistrates and Judges Association and the Judicial Staff Association to deliberate on the matter of Kivuti’s murder and the continuing threat to the lives of Judges, Judicial Officers and Staff in the course of their duties noting that the tragic incident had exposed and amplified the Judiciary’s long-held security concerns.

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Concerned about the state of security across the courts around the country and with deep regard for the life of Kivuti and others injured or threatened with violence and intimidation while in the line of duty, the JLT made the following resolutions:

Directives

First, CJ Koome declared Tuesday, June 18 as a day of mourning for the entire Judiciary in solidarity with Kivuti’s family, friends, colleagues, and all Judges, Judicial Officers and Staff who have been deeply affected by the tragedy. 

“No Court will sit on this day. Matters that had been listed on Tuesday across all Courts and Tribunals will be accommodated in the Court dairies on a priority basis,” the statement added.

Furthermore, presiding Judges and Heads of Stations will lead remembrance meetings in common rooms in all court stations across the country on Tuesday, June 18m 2024 at 10 am to allow Judges, Judicial Officers and Staff to commemorate the life of  Kivuti and to commiserate with the family and one another. Courts in Nairobi will therefore convene at Makadara and Milimani Law Courts.

As for Makadara Law Courts, it will remain closed until Monday, June 24, 2024, to allow the dismantling of the makeshift court structures and to allow reorganization for security reasons. 

The Judiciary administration will also work day and night to complete the prefabs at Makadara Law Courts. Also, all affected matters listed before Makadara Law Courts next week will be mentioned before Milimani Law Courts.

“Judicial Officers and Staff at the Makadara Law Courts will continue to receive psycho-social support to cope with this devastating incident. We call upon professional medical and psychological counselling entities to provide complimentary psycho-social support to Judiciary members and affected court users/justice actors across the country,” added the statement.

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The Judiciary administrative units will work on boosting security across all court stations using available resources.

In the meantime, the Judiciary leadership will engage the Executive and Parliament on additional resources to support the implementation of past recommendations touching on securing the Judiciary – a matter that has been discussed repeatedly with the concerned agencies for many years.

In the immediate phase, the Judiciary called on the Ministry of Interior and National Administration and the Office of Inspector General of Police to deploy additional officers to reinforce the complement of Officers in the Judiciary Police Unit and to reorganise the Judiciary Police Unit into a fully-fledged Police Unit under the leadership of a senior commanding officer with a fully functional Secretariat.

The Chief Justice also formulated a committee comprising of judicial officers that will guide the funeral preparation. the committee was directed to work handily with Kivuti’s family to ensure proper send-off.

An undated photo of the Makadara Law Courts. /MAKADARA LAW COURTS



“The JLT wishes to reassure the Judges, Judicial Officers and Staff that it is acutely aware of the security concerns that they continually face in the dispensation of justice and is taking the necessary measures to address their concerns,” CJ Koome concluded.

“The entire Judiciary is in deep mourning. In our mourning, the JLT sends its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and relatives of Hon. Kivuti and we pray that the Almighty provides you with peace, grace and fortitude to bear this loss.”

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