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Bondo Chiefs faulted for backlog of succession cases

Chiefs in Bondo Sub County have been blamed for the rising backlog of Succession cases in Bondo law courts.

According to Bondo Magistrate Stella Mathenge, the current backlog of 556 succession cases are caused by chiefs who give wrong and conflicting information to the courts.

Magistrate Mathenge revealed that in succession matters where the chiefs are only supposed to introduce the families to the court through a letter, the chiefs prematurely make a determination of successors of parcels of land.

Mathenge stated that it is the same chiefs who support objections raised in courts by discontented family members causing confusion and hence creating a backlog.

Speaking during a Court Users Committee (CUC) meeting in Bondo, the Magistrate warned the chief that their mandate is limited to introducing the family members to the courts which are then obligated to determine succession matters.

She said that chiefs work in cahoots with unscrupulous surveyors and land brokers to determine who owns which parcels of land after the demise of the original owner which not only create confusion that delay the determination of such case but also cause conflict among the affected family members.

Mathenge revealed that a chief has currently gone underground in Bondo over a succession matter in court that he allegedly gave conflicting information.

“As we speak I have summoned a chief through the area Deputy County Commissioner Mr Michael Too because my attempts to have him come and appear in court after giving conflicting information have borne no fruits,” she stated.

The CUC members recommend the training of the chiefs on succession matters and sensitizing the public on procedures to purchase land to reduce both the backlog in succession matters and land purchase-related cases that are choking Bondo courts.

“The law is very clear before purchasing of the land the buyer needs to check the history of the land in question, do a search, and also get consent from all spouses before paying. Without the consent of the people entitled to the land, the buyer is deemed to have bought “air”.

Such cases form the bulk of land cases in Bondo court and the public needs to be enlightened” said Senior Principal Magistrate Hon John Paul Nandi who chaired the meeting.

Currently there are 1040 pending cases in Bondo court with succession (556) and Land cases (100) forming the bulk of the matters.

 By Brian Ondeng

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