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Judiciary to spend Sh40 million for Wi-Fi connectivity

Chief Justice David Maraga. (Photo: David Njaaga/Standard)

The Judiciary will spend Sh40 million on Wi-Fi services to boost efficiency of operations.

The digitisation project, to be completed by March, will increase the number of stations already connected with Wi-Fi from 34 to 158. Speaking during the launch of the project recently, Chief Justice David Maraga said one of the major impediments in the roll out of ICT in the Judiciary is wrong attitude.

“Many people think it is too late to learn how to use a computer. We have to change this attitude. I learnt how to use a computer at the age of 50. Even now at the age of 66, I type all my judgments,” the CJ said.

The Judiciary developed an ambitious ICT strategy in 2012 with the aim of transforming how things are done. Towards that goal, every judge was given an iPad and iPhone, while each magistrate received a laptop for typing their notes.

In its 2012/13 report, the Judiciary indicated it had already spent Sh941 million on Information and Communications Technology within 21 stations. Some of the devices installed include  phones and cameras.

Audiovisual recording and transcription systems were also installed in 35 courtrooms to reduce human error in recording proceedings.

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“Admittedly, due to corruption in stealing documents from court files and accidental loss or mutilation of documents, the integrity of a fair proportion of our court records is wanting,” said the CJ.

In an interview with The Standard on Sunday, the Judiciary’s Director of Communications, Dr Naim Bilal, confirmed that all judges and magistrates had been given laptops and most of them are using the devices for their judicial work.

“We are also in the process acquiring speech-to-text technology and 20 devices are already on the way for this purpose,” he said.

Court of Appeal President Justice Paul Kihara said embracing ICT would help transform the Judiciary.

“They can secure public records for all time and can provide a valuable reference point that guarantees the accountability of every judicial officer. If we apply ICTs with consistency and candour, they will enhance our mission to rein in corruption,” he said.

In 2010, then Chief Justice Evan Gicheru launched the first Virtual Court, and today, the judiciary hires video conferencing services on need basis.

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