Chief Justice David Maraga on Friday moved to fast track ongoing corruption cases by directing that they are all heard and determined in Nairobi.
Through a notice published in the official Kenya Gazette, Mr Maraga directed that all new corruption cases will only be filed in Nairobi “in the interest of effective case management and expeditious disposal of cases in the Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Division of the High Court.”
“All new cases relating to corruption and economic crimes shall be filed in the Principal Registry of the Division at Nairobi for hearing and determination,” the notice reads.
The new directives come at a time when the government has intensified the war against corruption, leading to the arrest and prosecution of several high ranking officials in various state corporations over graft.
Some 47 suspects linked to the loss of Sh469 million at the National Youth Service were the first to be arraigned in court soon after President Uhuru Kenyatta vowed to deal firmly with corrupt public officials in May.
Those charged are Youth Affairs Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo and NYS director-general Richard Ndubai who have since been suspended.
Others included former NYS acting director-general Sammy Muchuki, Mr Peter Muthomi and Mr Stephen Muchai Riungu, who are both internal auditors at the Treasury, and a Mr Don Mwaniki Kariungi, described as an IFMIS buyer.
All of them were charged with the offense of conspiracy to commit economic crimes through planning to defraud the ministry of devolution Sh59,846,750.
On June 25, Kenya Bureau of Standards managing director Charles Ongwae and seven of his colleagues were charged with attempted murder for allowing importation of 5,846,000 kilos of fertiliser containing mercury.
They were also charged with abuse of office, commission of a felony, conspiracy to defraud and breach of trust.
They have since been freed on Sh10 million bond, a surety of Sh3 million and a cash bail of Sh2 million.
Those charged alongside Kebs MD were Mr Eric Chesire Kiptoo (director of quality assurance), Mr Peter Kinyanjui (inspection manager at the Kilindini Port), Mr Pole Mwangemi (Coast regional manager), Mr Erick Kariuki (port health officer at Kilindini), Mr Benson Oduor (supervisor of customs at Kenya Revenue Authority) and Mr Karim Lofti, a clearing agent with Bolore Transport and Logistics Kenya Ltd.
Early this week, Kenya Power bosses were arraigned in court on charges of procuring faulty transformers at a cost of Sh310,129,743.
Suspended Kenya Power managing director Ken Tarus, his predecessor Ben Chumo and 17 other officials of the electricity company were on Tuesday released on a cash bail of Sh1 million after spending four nights in police cells.
Mr Chumo was recently appointed as the new chair of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
In yet another scandal, about 30 people — lawyers, bankers, government officials and family members of those involved in the controversial sale of public land in Ruaraka — are being investigated over their role in the dubious payment of Sh1.5 billion for that property.
In 2016, the CJ issued directions which were heavily contested by lawyers, some who had called for his removal from office for misconduct.
In the latest notice, the CJ introduced an amendment that “the Chief Justice may establish additional sub-registries outside Nairobi”.