The Kenya National Legal Aid Service (KNLA) in Nakuru County assisted 3, 949 vulnerable and marginalized clients during the last financial year-2021-2022, through court representation and mediation.
The Senior State Counsel in the country Faith Siteiya Koila said during the same period, they also attended to 563 clients through public forums and sensitized them on the services offered by (KNLA).
Interviewed by KNA today at her office, Koila said the Department of Justice in the State Law Office established the National Legal Aid Service to create awareness among wananchi about free legal aid that provides legal advice and representation mainly for the poor, marginalized and vulnerable communities in the country.
Moreover, she said 1,152 clients were counseled or advised through their toll-free number, which proved to be more popular because it’s free and it saves the clients time and bus fare to Nakuru city.
Koila said 136 vulnerable clients were trained on self-representation in court and that gave them confidence and courage to speak freely in court without the phobia of lawyers and other officials in the legal system.
She added that the residents have embraced mediation and 104 cases were speedily finalized through the process because it is faster and preferred due to the win-win situation it creates in its resolution of cases.
She said 704 cases were filled in court during the last financial year which runs from 30th June 2021- 1st July 2022, and 19 cases were concluded during the same period.
Additionally, she said the most prevalent cases in the county were family matters, especially child maintenance, followed by child custody, land cases and succession issues.
She said the acceptance of mediation has proved to be the best solution for the backlog of pending cases in the Nakuru law courts and that they expected to solve more cases at the NLAS through mediation, which sometimes takes as short as three days.
By Veronica Bosibori