The Judiciary has enabled the unlocking of Sh33 billion through the use of mediation to resolve disputes, Justice Aggrey Muchelule has said.
Speaking in Nyahururu town, Laikipia County during the launch of court annex mediation, Judge Muchelule who is the Vice Chair of the Mediation Task Force, said billions of shillings that should be circulating in the economy were held up by court cases that remained unresolved for a long time.
Muchelule who is also a Court of Appeal Judge said only 10 percent of disputes ended up in court while the rest were solved at various levels either through churches, chiefs, or the police.
“Even with the 10 percent, the Judiciary is bogged down due to lack of enough personnel. The country has about 700 magistrates and 200 judges serving 50 million people.
“This has over time affected our efficiency and that’s why I am urging people to embrace mediation to save on time and money,” said Muchelule.
He said the country has 1300 accredited mediators, 695 of them active and through the mediators, 15,600 cases have been handled with 14,000 of them resolved since this system of Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism was started in the country following the coming into force of the 2010 Constitution.
He said mediation has been rolled out in the country with 52 stations launched out of the 120 registered ones.
The Judge applauded the Nyahururu Law Society Kenya (LSK) Chapter after its chair Martin Waichungo said lawyers in the region fully supported the mediation process.
Muchelule said when the mediation debate was started in 2016, LSK was the biggest opponent since lawyers thought it would snatch business from them.
The head of the Nyahururu court annex mediation Fredrick Larabi said four months since the system was operationalized, 22 cases have been handled through mediation with 11 being concluded “with full agreement”.
Two cases had partial agreement while six were referred back to court for direction after parties failed to reach any agreement.
The occasion was attended by Nyahururu Presiding Judge Anthony Ndung’u, the station’s Land and Environment Court Head Justice Kosi Bor, and Chief Magistrate Evans Keago.
By Antony Mwangi