CASES DETERMINED IN 60 DAYS

Judiciary to build five small claims courts in Nairobi by October

They will handle small business disputes of up to Sh1 million to enhance access to justice for wananchi

In Summary

• They will be built in Kasarani, Makadara, Dagoretti, Mathare and Embakasi within three months.

• At least 10 other claims courts will be rolled out in other regions this financial year.

Newly sworn in Small Courts Claim adjudicator Martin Njeru Mutua looks on as Chief Justice Martha Koome signs his oath of Office at the Supreme Court on July 21, 2021.
Newly sworn in Small Courts Claim adjudicator Martin Njeru Mutua looks on as Chief Justice Martha Koome signs his oath of Office at the Supreme Court on July 21, 2021.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

The Judiciary on Wednesday announced plans to construct five small claims courts in Nairobi to handle small business disputes.

The five stations will be built in collaboration with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

They will be built in Kasarani, Makadara, Dagoretti, Mathare and Embakasi within three months.

On April 26, 2021, the Judiciary opened a small claims court in Milimani.

The court has so far received 1,222 cases and within 84 days, it has determined 481 cases. 

“The small claims court at Milimani, which has been in operation since April 26, 2021 is a reflection of the impact the court will have on the overall administration of justice," Chief Justice Martha Koome said on Wednesday.

She spoke when she swore in two new adjudicators – Keyne Odiambo Gweno and Martin Njeru Mutua – to join Milimani small claims court.

The swearing-in of the two brings to five the number of adjudicators at Milimani.

The small claims court, according to the CJ, is aimed at reducing the backlog at the magistrate's court and enhancing access to justice for the common mwananchi.

Martin Njeru Mutua takes oath of Office as an adjudicator for the Small Claims Court at the Supreme Court on July 21, 2021.
Martin Njeru Mutua takes oath of Office as an adjudicator for the Small Claims Court at the Supreme Court on July 21, 2021.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

The court, Koome said, will simplify procedures, facilitate timely proceedings and harness fairness at reasonable fees.

“Operationalisation of the small claims courts will enhance access to justice by expanding the reach of the formal justice system to areas unserved by the existing court system,” she said.

The cases before the Small claims court take only 60 days from the day they are filed to when they are determined.

The Judiciary plans to sensitise Kenyans through the media on the existence of small claims courts in the next three months to attract more litigants.

Small claims court has jurisdiction to handle disputes of up to Sh1 million.

At least 10 other claims courts will be rolled out in other regions this financial year.

Justice Koome urged the new adjudicators to take charge of their courts and be flexible to guarantee simple and timely disposal of cases.

Keyne Odhiambo Gweno as he took Oath of Office as an adjudicator for the Small Claims Court at the Supreme Court on July 21, 2021.
Keyne Odhiambo Gweno as he took Oath of Office as an adjudicator for the Small Claims Court at the Supreme Court on July 21, 2021.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA