Busia residents have appealed to the Judicial Service Commission to create mobile courts in various sub-counties to enhance access to justice in far flung areas of the county.
Speaking during the commemoration of 10 years since the inception of Environment and Land Court (ELC) at Busia Magistrate’s court, the residents cited the difficulties they experience in accessing the court.
“We are disadvantaged by the long distance we have to cover to this court to have our land issues tackled,” said Thomas Omoge, a resident of Chemasit in Teso North sub-county.
Omoge observed that the complexity of land matters requires frequent visits to the court, and requested that the JSC consider their plight to create small courts close to their place of residence.
“Making one trip from our location to this court and back costs Sh800, making it too expensive for us to attend cases,” added Omoge.
His sentiments were supported by Joseph Otwani from Modini, who has been frequenting the court for the past two years over a disputed family land, but has not gotten justice.
“I am growing poorer every day due to the huge expenses I incur in my quest for justice, said Otwani, adding that he is unable to pay school fees for his children due to high financial demands of his land case.
Recognising the plight of Teso North residents, Busia Resident Magistrate Patrick Olengo said that the court has made efforts to ensure that their challenges are tackled conclusively.
“We collaborated with Teso North Member of Parliament Oku Kaunya in identifying a parcel of land in Malaba, on which construction of a mobile court is in progress. We will commission the court upon completion early next year,” said Olengo.
The magistrate added that another court in Port Victoria in Bunyala Sub-county is complete and ready for commissioning by the Chief Justice.
“These are part of the concerted efforts we are putting in place to ensure that every resident of Busia County can access justice from whichever location he or she is at,” said Olengo.
By Absalom Namwalo and Joshua Opili