Chief Justice David Maraga has told Court Users Committee (CuCs) to employ alternative methods to listen to petty cases to help prevent the backlog of cases at the Judiciary.
The Chief Justice argued that cases such as succession, land and boundaries cases should be solved at the court users’ level.
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Speaking in Siaya town when he met the CuCs and inspected the ongoing construction of Siaya high court, Maraga said that some of the cases can be solved at home with the help of neighbours and village elders.
“County commissioners should urge residents to solve some of the issues at public baraza's. Some of the cases should not be brought to courts,” said the chief justice.
He however raised concerns on the growing murder cases attributed to the land disputes especially those that are unresolved.
He recalled that during his stint at the Kisumu court of appeal as the presiding judge, he had handled several murder cases that had risen from the land disputes.
“Some of those cases are about land disputes leading to death. Those disputes if resolved with CuCs we will save lives which is very important,” he added.
Maraga at the same time raised concerns of young people serving a life sentence or more than ten years in prison over crimes that can be solved at the village levels.
“I get so depressed when I see very young people serving life imprisonment. We all know that when such young people stay in prison for a very long time, their life get wasted completely. These are some of the issues we would like you to address as you tell us how to serve you better,” added Maraga.
Maraga committed that the ongoing construction of the high court will be completed by the end of this year to ease the current congestion.
The CJ also urged the county to set aside pieces of land like three acres for the construction of magistrate courts.
Maraga challenged county governments of Siaya to strive and put up proper housing that can be used by the judicial officers posted in the region.
“You know we will post judges and magistrates here immediately we have our high court completed but the views they are expressing is that there is no proper housing in this region. When a judicial officer is posted in Siaya County they want to find every excuse not to come because of the challenges,” added the Chief Justice.