COURTS FULL

Residents warned against arbitrary land sales

The number of land cases in Uasin Gishu county is alarming.

In Summary

• Mwabudzo said the number of land cases in Uasin Gishu county is alarming. 

• Mwabudzo urged residents to avoid wasting time in courts on matters that can be solved out of court.

A section of Eldoret town yesterday. The town faces shortage of land for investors Photo/Mathews Ndanyi
A section of Eldoret town yesterday. The town faces shortage of land for investors Photo/Mathews Ndanyi

Uasin Gishu deputy county commissioner Mohammed Mwabudzo on Tuesday warned residents against selling land without following proper procedure. 

Mwabudzo said the number of land cases in Uasin Gishu county is alarming. 

Angu Kitigen, an advocate and mediator based in Eldoret said there are over 4,000 cases pending at the Environment and Lands court in Eldoret with only two judges expected to handle them. 

 
 

One judge can only handle 300 cases in a year, he said. This means about 3,400 cases will still be pending at the end of the year excluding new ones lodged.  

Mwabudzo urged residents to avoid wasting time in courts on matters that can be solved out of court.

He spoke during a paralegal training for local location administrators at Kilimani village in Turbo sub-county.  

As part of the training, chiefs, assistant chiefs and village elders in Uasin Gishu county will receive paralegal skills to help them handle disputes effectively.

They will be trained to solve boundary disputes and succession through mediation. 

Centre for Human Rights and Mediation CEO Nick Omito said the programme seeks to help people at the grassroots level get justice without going to court. 

It will also be used to create awareness about residents’ fundamental rights as stipulated in Legal Aid Act (2016).

 
 

Omito said the three-year programme will ensure the people know their basic rights and how to get legal aid especially when arrested by police and while appearing before a court.

“We will be taking lawyers to the grassroots to train people on how to solve minor cases using alternative ways like mediation so that magistrates and judges can handle complex matters of robbery, corruption, rape and defilement,’’ Omito said

The programme has already commenced in Soy, Turbo and Kapseret  counties and will focus on the local administrators because of their influence in decision making, especially in dispute resolution.

“There are over 800 cases children cases it is impossible to conduct them with only six magistrates. This makes mediation more appropriate because it only takes 40 hours to train a mediator and deploy them to the field,” Kitigen said. 

“There is no loser or winner in mediation, therefore we believe empowering the chiefs, assistant chiefs and village elders, church leaders shall reduce the amount of work that ends up in courts,” Kitigen said

The advocate hailed government efforts in finding a solution to the backlog of cases at courts by encouraging mediation as a cheap local mechanism for dispute resolution.  

The programme is sponsored by UN, UNDP and Amkeni Wakenya and will be implemented by the CHRM. 

(Edited by O. Owino)