Busia chief Magistrate Lucy Ambasi has asked residents to adopt Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism to reduce the backlog of cases at the local court
Speaking during court users’ open day at Busia polytechnic, Ambasi urged residents to adopt the ADR spirit of trying to resolve cases at home instead of taking matters to court that will take over ten years to be resolved.
“Some cases such as those of land issues could be resolved at the community level by chiefs instead of taking them to court only to take years to be resolved,” Ambasi said.
She disclosed that the Chief Magistrates court has over 5000 criminal and 4000 civil cases which are pending stating that some of these cases could be resolved outside the courts.
She added that the Environment and Labor court is highly burdened noting that cases above Sh 20m are forwarded to the high court which has over 2000 cases.
“Making rulings of such cases could take years, while receiving a compilation of others in the
Having Busia law courts as the only serving courts with 6 judicial officers and two judges, the official urged the county government to consider expanding the number of courts in the region.
The courts are on the forefront in digitizing its operations despite the challenge of high illiteracy level. Ambasi asked the public to continue enforcing Covid 19 protocols as highlighted by the Ministry of Health.
The Deputy County Commissioner, Kipchumba Ruto also adviced the public to embrace ADR in settling disputes through community elders following the back flow and cost of cases.
“In dispensing justice, both mitigation and prosecution of cases is expensive, therefore we need to find a short cut, and I think ADR is the best way to go,” Ruto said.
Busia Law Courts has six Judicial officers and two judges serving the seven sub counties namely Matayos, Butula, Budalang’i, Teso North, Teso South, Nambale and Samia.
The county government on their part, has established the office of County Attorney to help in legal issues at the county level. They are also in support of Port Victoria and Malaba Law Courts which are under construction.
The court users’ open day was held on Friday
By Absalom Namwalo and Mourine Kwena