Busia Presiding judge William Musyoka has lauded the government for its efforts to enhance access to justice by the local residents.
Speaking during the occasion to mark the Judiciary Open day at Busia Polytechnic grounds on Thursday, justice Musyoka noted that the County has for a long time operated with one court based in Busia town.
“Over the years, Busia has been operating with only one court but this year we were able to open two courts, one in Port Victoria and another one at the side of Malaba,” he said.
He added that there are plans to expand the court system by having at least one court in every Sub County.
‘In future we hope to move to Butula and Funyula,” he said, urging the governor to support the justice system by ensuring that there are smooth operations in both Malaba and Bunyala law courts.
The judge at the same time disclosed that a court of appeal registry has been established in Busia and plans are underway to ensure that the court sits in Busia in future with a view to save the local residents from travelling over long distances to Kakamega and Kisumu to seek for such services.
‘We also have a small claims court that will ensure that those who are not financially stable can also have access to justice,’ he said.
The official at the same time stated that a court has mediation section on alternative justice system to enable the local residents resolve disputes without necessarily going to court.
Busia Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti said that the judiciary is in the process of training the council of elders on the alternative justice system.
Nyaloti added that elders should solve petty cases at home and prepare minutes so that the report can be adopted by the court.
Busia Governor Paul Otuoma hailed the judiciary for engaging the council of elders in solving disputes which are social in nature.
Otuoma however noted that backlog of cases was still a challenge in the justice system adding the expansion of the justice system will help address the issue.
“The issue of digitization of files is also very important,’ he said, adding that the county government will collaborate with the judiciary in terms of the required infrastructure development so that access to justice is enhanced.
By Salome Alwanda