Lawyers at the Eldoret High court on Monday down their tools protesting backlog and delays of cases occasioned by shortage of Judges.
The demonstrators, who numbered at least 300, said they had tried all other means of getting the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Chief JUstice David Maraga to solve the crisis.
“We had no option but to lock the courts and stage a boycott because it’s Kenyans who suffer when courts cannot operate because of lack of judges,” said Zephania Yego, Chairman of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) in the North Rift.
“The three judges who worked here were transferred two months ago. More than 4,000 cases are pending in courts in the town.”
Yego led the lawyers in locking the gates of the High Court and demanding that Maraga post new judges to the area immediately.
The lawyers pinned a banner at the gate and they prevented police from accessing the courts with prisoners whose cases were to be heard.
They also set up a makeshift structure at the Environment court, which they said lacks infrastructure for proper operations.
Presiding judge Kanyi Kimondo was transferred two month ago and replaced with Justice Hellen Omondi who was based in Homa Bay. She reported to work in Eldoret today because she was yet to clear her files in Homa Bay.
They said that the area needs more than five judges and 15 magistrates.
Lawyer Waziri Omollo noted Eldoret had the highest number of pending cases after Nairobi so the CJ should act immediately.
Yego and other LSK officials later met Justice Omondi to discuss the crisis for Maraga to be briefed.