The Courts annexed mediation programme was launched in Garissa as part of the wider scheme by the Judiciary to decongest the courts.
The programme is a similar to the common Somali traditional conflict resolution only that the former is not allowed to handle criminal related cases such as treason, murder or rape.
Speaking on Friday after the launch, Presiding Judge at the Garissa High Court, George Dulu said the process will only be lawful after the cases are filed in court and allowed to proceed to the final stage and all pleadings closed and a decision reached.
Justice Dulu said that the programme will assist in decongesting the courts since most cases will be solved faster in a cheaper and manageable way.
He added that it was now compulsory in all the courts where the programme has been launched that mediation process be the first cause in resolving issues failure to which the court will have to proceed with the hearing.
The programme is also part of the Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism. According to experts the process is less expensive compared to the court process and quicker to resolve litigation.
The Deputy Registrar Family Division at the High Court, Mukabi Kimani said since the launch of the programme in April 2016, more than Sh. 3.8 billion which had been locked up in litigation has been released to the economy after the feuding parties agreed to settle their matters outside court.
He said all the logistics and structures on the ground have been laid and urged the local community to embrace the program.
Today’s launch is the 7th out of the 10 programs to be pioneered and hopefully, it will be rolled out to all other counties by next year.
By Jacob Songok