CJ Maraga calls for settlement of land dispute out of court

The Chief Justice (CJ), David Maraga has called upon leaders in Kisii to help the community settle land disputes out of court in a bid to reduce the number of succession cases pending in courts and hasten justice.

Speaking on Wednesday outside the Kisii Law Courts during his tour to Kisii, Keroka, and Ogembo to inspect the facilities and meet staff and Court Users Committees (CUCs), Maraga urged the leaders to impress on the locals to seek alternative mechanisms, saying such cases dragged for long due to few adjudicating staff members and caused congestion.

The CJ reiterated the same at the County Governor, James Ongwae’s office when he paid a courtesy call and discussed issues of collaboration in the administration of justice.

He noted the courts were not only old buildings, but were also small to accommodate groups of people especially after the general elections when there could be petitions.

At the Courts the CJ was mobbed by residents who raised complaints over delay of their cases for years and for allegedly being shortchanged by their advocates whom they said had disappeared with their benefits.

Appealing to the governor to set aside land for construction of more courts at Nyacheki and Manga areas, Maraga said there was need to bring the services near the people who have to travel far for the same.

He noted that the Judiciary had supported devolution and would therefore expedite cases involving the county government to enable the office continues its work.

The CJ cited a case in Tharaka Nithi County where a court order against the County Government had paralysed the county activities.

Governor Ongwae said the government had set aside over a half piece of land to put up a county court which is 70% complete with prisoners cells, magistrate court and other accessories to assist the main law courts handle the minor cases.

He cited financial constraints as one of the challenges delaying completion of the structure and appealed to the CJ to appoint a Resident Magistrate to the court once it is completed.

Ongwae lauded the CJ for ensuring justice system was streamlined to cater for the needs of the electioneering period including petitions that may arise.

Others present were, Resident Judge, Joseph Karanja, Chief Magistrate, John Njoroge, Deputy Governor, Joash Maangi and Communications Officer in the Judiciary, Namusyule Shikhutuli among others.

Source: Kenya News Agency