Kalonzo yesterday said many citizens incur a lot of costs especially hiring a lawyer to represent them in court on family, community, commercial or land disputes that can be addressed through mediation.
“Mediation is something most Kenyans have not understood to resolve disputes. Many disputes causing differences among Kenyans can be addressed easily through mediation,” Kalonzo said.
He spoke in Nairobi at a press conference after presiding over the graduation of 27 mediators trained by the Dispute and Conflict Resolution International chaired by Justice Lee Muthoga.
“Mediation costs less compared to what lawyers charge. This is the best way to resolve disputes to end conflicts causing differences among people,” Kalonzo said.
Justice Muthoga said courts across the country are “seriously overwhelmed” by cases, leading to delays in resolving conflicts between aggrieved parties.
“It is therefore not unusual for court cases to snake their way in the system for years. Litigation is not only lengthy and expensive but it also does not produce sustainable peace,” he said.
Muthoga reiterated that long-lasting peace can be achieved faster at an affordable fee by bringing people at the table to end a conflict compared to the court process that mostly leaves parties at loggerheads.
“This is the gist of the matter in the famous handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Hon. Raila Odinga. The two were in protracted disputes but agreed to talk,” he said.
Muthoga insisted that aggrieved parties “seek many options and alternatives” to end the conflict when they willingly agree to talk.
“This is the magic of mediation. We have many simmering community disputes in this country which would all be resolved through community mediation,” he said.