For a very long time, the court has been facing huge backlogs of never –ending cases. Some that have taken ages before are they settled. In April 2016, The Judiciary established Court annexed mediation as an alternative to settle disputes and reduce backlogs of cases in courts. As emphasized in the 2010 constitution of Kenya, article 59 on Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR) The Judiciary has been sensitizing and calling upon the public to embrace Court-Annexed Mediation as an alternative.
Speaking during Swala Nyeti show on West Fm Hosted by Robert Ilukol , The Judiciary Officials drawn from Nairobi, Eldoret and Bungoma Court said, Court-annexed Mediation is the fastest, cheapest and easiest way to settle disputes and it contributes to reduction of case backlogs in courts and cut down the expenses they have been incurring during their cases in courts.
According to Lilian Udoto from the court annexed mediation secretariat, Nairobi, since the inception of court-annex mediation in April 2016 the process has since seen 50% of cases being handled through court annexed mediation settled leading to 14billion pumped back into circulation.
The Mediator comes in as a neutral official, paid by the court to give both parties an opportunity to explore on whether their dispute can be settled amicably before going to court. Court-Annexed Mediation has between 1- 60 days to find a solution the disputes and should it happen that after the period of 60 days will expire before the mediation finds a solution the case will referred to court for further hearings and ruling.
“If 60 days expires before a solution is reached then the case reverts back to the court for further hearing. But I call upon the public to embrace Court- Annexed Mediation, it is cheap and easy”, Said Principal Magistrate, Tom Olando.
Family disputes children issues, civil cases and criminal cases can be solved through mediation but there are cases that cannot be settled through Court-Annexed Mediation. For Example defilement and cases that goes against humanity.
“Mediation demand is high and I am happy that Kenyans have begun embracing mediation as a way to settle their family issues and children issues”, said Magistrate Rosemary Onkoba .
In Bungoma, Court Annexed Mediation was established In June 2022, 110 cases were recorded and so far 90 cases have been settled.
Papetual Waboto , Bungoma County Administrator in charge of Court- Annexed Mediation said, “We have a period of 60 days, but there are cases that are solved in a one day. We are using all avenues and gatherings to sensitize the public about Court-Annex Mediation”