Acting Chief Justice (CJ) Philomena Mwilu has directed all courts in the counties of Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, Machakos, and Kajiado be closed to the public until further notice.
In a statement seen by TV47 Digital, CJ Mwilu also directed all tribunals and all registries in the five counties are closed, and that any matters requiring a hearing henceforth shall be by way of virtual hearing.
With the country fully in its third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Judiciary says that they have taken the measure so as to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday, March 26.
“Like all other sectors, the judiciary and the rest of the criminal and civil justice agencies were asked to take immediate action to eliminate non-essential physical contact or situations within the areas of mandate that may lead to crowding or the propagation of the disease,” reads the statement.
Consequently, the Judiciary has resolved as follows;
- In Nairobi County, matters under certificate of urgency shall continue to be filed using the e-filing system accessible at https://efiling.court.go.ke/,
- Certificates in urgency in other zoned areas shall be presented by way of e-filing,
- All criminal pleas and urgent hearings shall be handled virtually in all courts in the five zoned counties,
- Any COVID-19 safety cases that may be detected during this period shall be immediately reported to the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, and
- Although vaccination is voluntary, all of us are seriously encouraged to get vaccinated at the earliest possible moment.
Further, the Judiciary has directed that going forward, each court station, tribunal, directorate and implementing unit in the zoned area shall develop and submit a weekly duty roster to the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary ensuring that only 30 percent of staff are in the office at any given time.
“These guidelines shall be reviewed as circumstances allow, and updates shall be given on a needs basis,” concludes CJ Mwilu.