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Alternative justice system to be rolled out in other counties

The Alternative Justice System (AJS) model which aims at providing alternative forms of dispute resolution mechanisms provided they do not contravene the constitution will now be rolled out in other counties after its success in Kajiado County.

Speaking while assessing the progress of the model in Kajiado County, the Chairman of the National Steering Committee on the Implementation of the AJS Policy Hon. Prof. Justice Joel Ngugi urged Kenyans to embrace the AJS system as it ensures justice in a cheaper, easily accessible, fast and non-corrupt way.

“We have two families here in Kajiado who have been having a land dispute row for over 30 years and we are glad that through the AJS system, the Leshinka and Nkosira families have now settled the case in a win-win situation which would not have been possible if the case was resolved in court,” said Professor Ngugi.

He revealed that the model was initially focused on solving land disputes in Kajiado since land is the main issue in the county but it will now be expanded to also focus on solving cases related to family conflicts and Minor robbery as the committee have ascertained that the system is effective.

In the AJS policy, the judiciary will promote, respect, protect and help transform whatever homegrown system the counties will come up with and whichever kinds of conflicts/disputes they choose to solve in the AJS provided both parties have credibly chosen to be in the mechanism.

Kajiado governor Joseph ole Lenku says that he is happy to champion the system in Kajiado and his administration will embrace it for social transformation in the justice front.

“Let us not be fast to move to court without considering the alternative justice system. In the AJS, it is possible that everyone wins because it incorporates the traditional way of conflict resolution and hence it has a way of balancing the feuding groups to ensure justice happens,” Said Ole Lenku

The governor lauded the judiciary for launching the system in Kajiado saying it has reduced case backlogs in the Kajiado courts especially pertaining to land as the residents are now embracing the traditional way of solving land disputes.

In the AJS system, religious leaders and the Council of Elders play a bigger role in the justice system.

The system was launched in Kajiado in October 2021.

By Veronica Seeto and Diana Meneto

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