• The two-day forum was organised by Centre for Human Rights and Mediation in partnership with the United Nation Development programme.
More than 67 cases have been settled through mediation in North Rift region.
The cases were among 295 files referred to mediation which had dragged on in various courts in the region for more than four decades.
Speaking during a sensitisation forum on alternative dispute resolution and access to justice for village elders and chiefs in Uasin Gishu, outgoing Eldoret senior resident magistrate Nicodemus Moseti said delays in hearing and determination of cases has made local residents adopt mediation.
The two-day forum was organised by Centre for Human Rights and Mediation in partnership with the United Nation Development programme.
Moseti said the new system which he termed as time and money saving has reduced backlog of cases and besides restored relationship to the aggrieved parties.
“The programme has drastically reduced backlog of cases which include land disputes that have dragged on in courts for decades in the region,” said Moseti.
The magistrate said that a total of Sh 415,367,025 was unlocked between February 27 and May 31st this year through the judiciary’s arbitration and mediation initiative.
The programme targets vulnerable and indigenous communities in the entire North Rift to access justice and at the same time save them from lengthy and costly litigation.
The Centre for Human Rights and Mediation Executive Director Nick Omito said 50 per cent of cases they have handled were land related followed by matters touching on family and succession that are common in the region.
Omito said most of the land dispute cases brought before the mediators are those the complainants could not continue with in courts due to the tedious and costly court processes.
He raised concern of chiefs and assistant chiefs whom he claimed were key perpetrators of rampant land disputes that have rocked the region.
“They are biased against the women and always engage in witnessing land sale agreements without involving their spouses, and at times they permit the sale of same piece of land to more than one buyer as long as they are paid a small fee”, said Omito
. He said in some of the public sensitization forums residents raised corruption claims against chiefs and their assistants saying they favor people with financial influence.