Kisumu based advocates have blamed the ever increasing backlog of civil and succession cases on inadequate staffing, laxity and poor remuneration.
This was supported by Justice David Majanja who revealed that there were a total of 33 unresolved civil cases, saying if the advocates worked extra hard to have them completed, it could reduce the buildup.
Justice Majanja made the remarks in Kisumu on Monday, while handing over the station to his successor, Justice Fred Ochieng’ who is the incoming presiding judge.
Justice Majanja now moves to Kisii while Justice Ochieng’ has been transferred from Nairobi’s Commercial Court division.
This latest redeployment by the Chief Justice, David Maraga also saw Justice Esther Maina moved to the High Court in Nyamira from Kisumu.
In his address, Justice Majanja challenged the advocates to embrace hard work and transparency, noting that this will go a long way in stepping-up the quality of legal services, de-congestion of prisons and courts.
On succession cases, he lamented that land brokers were on the prowl and targeted elderly persons with such cases in court, with the aim of defrauding them.
He said that soon after the judgments on such cases, the unscrupulous land brokers’ swing into action by extorting money or disinheriting the helpless elderly people of their properties.
“It is, therefore imperative for advocates to always remain alert in order to avert such predicaments,” stated Justice Majanja.
In the recent Performance Management and Measurement Understandings Evaluation Report of 2016/2017 Kisumu High court was ranked 8th out of 13 high courts in the category of best performing in terms of Civil Cases, Appeals and Succession heard and concluded within a year, with Siaya County topping the list with 72% while Kisumu managed a paltry 16%.
However, Kisumu High court scored as best performing in the category of backlog reduction standing at 38%.
The report also brought to the fore the fact that Kisumu High Court was rated as second best, when it came to Judges Productivity with 1,015 cases while Machakos High court led in this category, having successfully handled 1,287 cases.
On case clearance, Kisumu High court attained 278%, which saw it get ranked as third with Machakos High court once again topping in this category with 583%.
The assessments were done for all the 13 High court stations and divisions with 500 or more cases; including: Milimani Judicial Review, Kisii, Milimani Civil Division, Milimani Constitutional and Human Rights, Milimani Family, Meru, Mombasa, Milimani Commercial Division, Nakuru and Milimani Criminal Division.
By Davine Otieno/Joseph Ouma