Mombasa Chief Magistrate Evans Makori, who was recently promoted to the position of High Court judge, has urged Kenyans to resist the temptation of thinking that they can always evade punishment by corrupting the justice system.
Makori, who addressed Mombasa residents at the GPO area during a legal awareness exercise on Friday morning, said judges and magistrates are “among the most-paid public servants”, and, therefore, they wouldn’t easily be lured by bribes.
“Our systems have failed us,” said Makori.
“For instance, when one is arraigned for a traffic-related offence, he or she first thinks of bribing the judge to secure his or her freedom. You would find that instead of the suspect waiting patiently for me to arrive at a decision, he or she is busy making calls to relatives to sell a goat so that they can raise the bribe. After getting the money, the next thing the suspect does is to find out who knows me in person so that the money can be handed over to me in a bid to influence my decision,” said Makori.
“Let me tell you: if you did not know, we are well paid, very well paid. Sometimes I even ask my friends how I can share my money with other members of the society.”
The magistrate, who is yet to be sworn in as High Court judge, urged members of the public to report to the anti-graft agency, EACC, should court clerks or other staff members seek bribes from them in a bid to expedite their applications, or influence judges’ decisions.