Government to adopt alternative dispute resolution mechanisms

Ministry of Devolution is in the process of entrenching the culture of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms to promote amicable settlement of conflicts across the 47 counties.

ADR is a legal concept which in simple term denotes settling disputes out of courts of law through mediation, arbitration and negotiation.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eugene Wamalwa said the devolved units should ensure that disputes were determined using arbitration and other friendly mechanisms.

Wamalwa said the constitution entrenches the principle of reconciliation, mediation, arbitration and traditional dispute resolution mechanisms.

The CS was speaking in Mombasa Monday during an ADR stakeholder validation workshop for coastal counties at Travelers Beach Hotel.

Wamalwa who was accompanied by his new Principal Secretary (PS) Nelson Marwa said his ministry was exploring ways and means of making devolution work in the country through sustainable pro-arbitration culture.

He said alternative dispute resolution will in the long run save the devolved units a lot of resources in terms of money, time and energy spent through long drawn court cases.

We urge the county governments to embrace ADR mechanisms as it will save them diversion of funds meant for development to meet the costs of litigation, he said.

He added that ADR will also help reduce the workload on the courts system.

On his part Marwa said inter-county disputes were centered on boundary and resource sharing and asked counties to opt for an out of court settlement of cases instead of going through the court process.

The PS said adopting the ADR will help minimize the problems associated with delays, expense, stress and dissatisfaction related to court litigation.

We will not entertain disputes finding their way to the courts as a first option without exploring other alternatives to resolve them, he said.

He added that he will not allow public funds getting diverted to pay the high cost of litigation thereby disrupting the provision of services to Wananchi.

Source: Kenya News Agency