By Florence Ogonjo
As Kenya joins the rest of the world in fighting the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) , various measures have been introduced affecting our day to day lives both socially and economically . The past three weeks have seen the Kenyan Government through presidential directives and press statements from the ministry of health take measures to contain and minimize the spread of the highly infectious virus. Various government institutions, organizations and companies that serve huge populations of Kenyans have been forced to either completely shut down and resort to working from home.
On 15th March 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta through a press statement instituted measures aimed at mitigating the spread of the virus among which included a directive instructing government offices , businesses and companies to allow employees where possible to work from home with the exception of employees working in critical and essential services.
The judicial system in Kenya is key in the dispensation of justice, handling numerous cases from civil to criminal on a daily basis services of which are primarily run on face to face interactions . Chief Justice David Maraga in addressing the situation released a press statement with directives on the Judiciary’s position in mitigating COVID -19. The press statement covered administrative issues among which included the scaling down of court activities throughout the country as well as the suspension of all appeals , hearings and mentions in criminal and civil cases in all courts countrywide.
As the number of COVId-19 infections increased in the country more stringent measures were issued by the government through the Ministry of Health . On 19th March, the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) announced further measures to be taken , among them included directions advising advocates to adopt e-filing in the High Court Commercial and Tax Division as well as the Chief Magistrate’s Commercial Court to avoid visiting the courts. Judges were consequently advised to consider electronic delivery of ruling, where appropriate.Continue reading