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Kenyans urged to embrace mediation in dispute resolution

The Judiciary has launched a court annexed mediation (CAM) process in Kiambu County which is an alternative justice system meant to reduce backlog of court cases.

Mediation which has been rolled out so far in more than 25 counties, was first adopted in 2016 by the former Chief Justice David Maraga as an alternative to help conclude cases that had stagnated five years and more.

Mediation and Accreditation Committee chairperson High Court Judge George Odunga accompanied by a team of judicial officers launched the programme dubbed ‘a solution by you, for you’ at the Kiambu laws court grounds

Speaking at the launch, Justice Odunga urged Kenyans to embrace the local dispute arbitration mechanism to solve civil cases, since it is cost effective and fast.

“The Judiciary has so far accredited about 1000 mediators in the country, therefore we are now rolling out CAM in all areas we have sufficient number of mediators,”said Odunga

The judge said mediators are diverse and have been trained effectively to handle all kinds of civil cases hence easy to interact with

“The mediators are not only lawyers but they also include religious leaders, bankers, teachers, psychologists,” added Odunga.

Kiambu High Court Judge Lady Justice Mary Kasango said CAM process should be widely made known to litigants as mediation can become a future tool for case resolution if well understood

“In Kiambu High Court we have a huge backlog of cases, however last year we were given an additional judge but the work is still overwhelming hence the need for an alternative resolution process,” said Kasango

She urged Kiambu residents to embrace the court annexed mediation process arguing it will save money and time.

“The court still plays a part in the mediation process as the agreement is adopted by court as judgement,” said Lady Justice Kasango

Kiambu Chief Magistrate Emily Ominde on her part decried the high number of cases related to family disputes that could be easily resolved through the mediation process.

Ominde further explained that mediation can be a game changer in the pursuit for justice in Kenya, as its easy for people to adopt their own agreed decision than the one imposed on them by the court

“In some cases people just want people to listen to them,” she added.

By Grace Naishoo

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