The Vihiga Law Courts building was opened by the Chief Justice Hon. David Maraga bringing access to court closer to the people. The new court building will contribute towards improving service delivery, administration of justice and reduction of case backlog. The building has spacious four court rooms that will be able to accommodate litigants, secure registries with lockable cabinets, separate holding cells for men, women and children, access ramps, a library among other facilities.
The Vihiga building is the fourth court building opened that is supported by the World Bank through the Judicial Performance Improvement Project (JPIP). In the recent past Judiciary opened Kigumo, Nyando and Makindu Law courts. The World Bank is supporting the Judiciary in bringing justice closer to the people by constructing 29 courts across the country.
The first court station in Vihiga County was established in Mbale, Vihiga in 1936 as an African Court Tribunal during the colonial days. During that period, the court dealt mainly with civil and land matters.
The court moved to its present location in Majengo, Vihiga County in the late 1950s. It operated from rented premises barely accommodating two courtrooms, a magistrate’s chambers, a kitchen and all the registries (Civil, Criminal, Traffic). The typing pool, cash office, telephone operator’s room and store were squeezed in a corner in the four roomed premises. A semi-permanent structure housed the holding cells where men, women and children were cramped together. Another semi-permanent building made of bricks with corrugated iron sheets provided accommodation for the prosecutor’s office.
Access to justice is a focal point for the Judiciary through the Sustaining Judiciary Transformation framework. The Judiciary continues to seek means and ways of ensuring that justice is brought closer to the people.
Earlier, the CJ inspected progress of the construction of the new Kakamega Court Complex. The building is on course for completion by December and will greatly assist in the delivery of judicial services.