On Thursday, September 28 Chief Justice Martha Koome released fresh directives concerning the payment of fines and cash bail. She directed that payments would take place in open court sessions to improve transparency within the judicial system.
CJ Koome noted that this aligns with the Judiciary’s adoption of technology, facilitating electronic payments for court fees, fines, and deposits, ultimately enhancing the efficiency of the judicial system.
“This system not only generates online invoices and receipts but also simplifies the entire payment process,” reads a statement in part.
Accused individuals who cannot make payments in open court will be issued an invoice and granted a reasonable timeframe to settle their fines or cash bail. For those who fail to pay by 4:00 p.m. on the day of their plea, committal warrants will be prepared.
To ensure fines and bail are processed promptly, the guidelines stipulate that pleas must be registered by 9:00 a.m. In cases where this is not feasible, court users’ committees will offer guidance.
Further, each plea-taking session will be staffed with two Court Assistants. The first assistant will provide assistance to the magistrate with various court tasks, while the second assistant will manage the processing of fines and cash bail payments.
“This includes generating invoices, providing copies to the accused, and facilitating payments through the online portal,” said the CJ.
Efforts have also been implemented to uphold financial controls, with every court station appointing an accountant tasked with the daily reconciliation of revenue collection.
“These guidelines represent a significant step towards a more streamlined and technology-driven judicial system, ensuring timely and transparent handling of fines and cash bail, ultimately benefiting court users and the administration of justice,” CJ Koome stated.