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Need for an Alternative Justice System court in Narok

There is a need to establish a functional Alternative Justice System (AJS) court in Narok to reduce the case backlog in the law courts, Narok High Court Judge Justice Francis Gikonyo has said.

Gikonyo who spoke when members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) visited the county said AJS will provide different forms of dispute resolution mechanisms, including the traditional approaches, as long as they do not violate the law.

He underscored the fact that AJS will comprise community elders, both men and women of good character, who will help in resolving the petty crimes. This move, Gikonyo said, will help the magistrates and judges concentrate on capital offences to bring quick justice to the victims.

“We need both men and women to be incorporated in the AJS so that they can help resolve specific matters that deal with men or women,” he continued, observing that the system is already functioning in neigbouring Kajiado County.

Some of the issues to be resolved through the AJS are land disputes, marriage issues, inter-family disputes and other minor matters that can comfortably be handled through the established system.

The JSC delegation was led by Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Ms. Anne Amadi and one of the commissioners and former Bomet Governor Mr. Isaac Ruto.

Judges and magistrates present also echoed the creation of AJS saying it will help reduce the backlog of cases pending in court.

Narok Branch Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) Mr. Ali Juma also called for the establishment of a Kadhi Court in the county where matters of Islamic faith can be handled.

Juma said they are forced to go to Kericho Court whenever there is a dispute amongst themselves yet there are over 50 mosques in the county.

“The population of Muslims in this county is increasing everyday yet we do not have a Kadhi’s court. I request the JSC to consider establishing one in Narok as the demand is high,” he said.

Narok County Attorney Mr. Allan Meingati, asked for the formation of a municipality court that will deal with petty crimes ranging from evasion of taxes, license issues, traffic matters in town among other issues that relate to towns.

“The county government is ready and willing to work with the Commission to establish a municipal justice court that will operate under the county so that we can avoid having minor cases in the main court like evasion of licenses among others,” said Meingati.

Narok State Counsel from the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) Mr. Duncan Ondimu asked the Commission to facilitate the movement of the Olokurto mobile court to Ololulunga trading center where it is highly needed and would serve a large population.

Ondimu said that the Olokurto mobile court serves only one police station adding if were stationed at Ololulunga trading centre, it would serve at least five police stations thus boosting efficiency.

The County State Counsel further reiterated the need to increase virtual court processes as it creates efficiency and eliminates delays caused by movement.

His sentiments were echoed by the Narok branch Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Chairman Mr. Martin Ole Kamwaro who said virtual court proceedings will eliminate days when the judges or lawyers are not in the court premises.

Others present during the visit were In charge Narok GK Prison Benson Lomeri, heads of departments, town advocates and other court users.

 By Ann Salaton and Amos Maine

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