The Judiciary has set up the first Environment and Lands Court (ELC) in Gusii land in the just opened Nyamira High court in Nyamira County.
The court, which was officially set by the Chief Justice (CJ), David Maraga on Friday while officially opening Nyamira High Court, will in a great way help residents in the entire Gusii land resolve land disputes in the most effective way unlike in the past when such cases took forever to be determined.
While setting up the court, the CJ observed that land scarcity in populated Gusii land has made its issues and disputes very emotive and delicate to determine especially when the parties involved are unable to resolve their conflict out of court.
“Land conflicts if not justly resolved bring lifetime hatred, breaks close knit families, leads to emanation of other related offences and in the worst scenario, it causes untimely death the reason why we have seen urgent need to establish the court now that we have a facility for the same,” Maraga commented.
He assured that the Judiciary was going to send one judge from among the recently appointed lot to sit in Nyamira high court to address the lands and environment conflicts in Gusii region.
“The Judiciary has just appointed a number of Judges for the Environment and Lands Courts (ELC), and I will direct one of them to be deployed in Nyamira High Court for land matters to be handled closer to affected residents amicably relieving them of the burden of using their resources travelling long distances in the name of seeking for justice as one way of achieving our objective of improved service delivery by bringing services closer to people,” the CJ stated.
However, the CJ emphasized on the need to use mediation courtesy of clan elders in collaboration with other appointed community leaders to handle minor land cases which they could manage and hand over the reports to the courts to reduce a backlog of land dispute cases in the courts hence making life bearable for everyone.
The ELC will be the first and one of its kind in Gusii region, an area which has been labeled as a hot spot because its fast-growing rate of land related conflicts is worrying.
By Deborah Bochere/Dan Nyamanga