Kituo conducts Handover ceremony for the Alternative Justice System (AJS) Project
Kituo Cha Sheria in partnership with the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG) conducted handover ceremonies for the Alternative Justice System (AJS) Baraza La Uwiano (Maridhiano), Eldoret and Western Chapters. Kituo handed over the project to the communities to continue with the great work in promoting access to justice using alternative community based approaches.
Kituo Cha Sheria has been implementing the AJS project since 2015. Through the project, Kituo continues to lead conversations with survivors of the 2007-2008 Post Election Violence (PEV) across the regions that were heavily affected by the 2007-2008 PEV. The aim is to offer redress to crimes against property ownership and molding a safe platform of solving 2007/2008 PEV disputes arising between parties without recourse to the courts to achieve peace, justice and reconciliation amongst the communities. To date Kituo has conducted a series of workshops in order to build the capacity of Commissioners (composed of PEV victims and offenders, village elders, women, youth, persons living with disabilities, religious leaders and community representatives). Adjudicators (respected community members who were selected through a consultative process by the community) have also been trained on the use of negotiation, mediation and non-violent Communication in Conflict Resolution.
After a successful piloting of the project, Kituo Cha Sheria handed over the project to the community living in Uasin Gishu and Kisumu Counties. During the Piloting, the Baraza La Uwiano team offered their time to be trained in negotiation, mediation and non-violent Communication in Conflict Resolution. The team is expected to use the acquired knowledge on these community based approaches in dispute resolution to promote peace, justice and reconciliation. Mediation has played a big role in ensuring speedy dispute resolutions and creation of an atmosphere of cohabitation and tolerance among the communities that were heavily affected by the 2007/2008 post-election violence in Kenya.
The Eldoret Chapter handover ceremony was held at the Noble Hotel on Thursday 19th July, 2018 and was presided over by Hon. Lady Justice Helen Omondi, the Eldoret High court – Resident Judge. The Western Chapter handover ceremony took place in Kisumu at the Kisumu Social Centre on Tuesday 31sy July, 2018.
Speaking in Kisumu, Mr. Matthias Eppe of GIZ-CPS; committed to support the AJS team through continuous capacity building on mediation. Prof. Oketch Owiti, AGM member of Kituo Cha Sheria encouraged the use of AJS for those who feel disenfranchised from the formal court system as a way of overcoming the barriers in accessing justice. Dr. Phoebe Nyawalo, Chairperson, AJS Western Chapter, encouraged the 13 Adjudicators and 9 Commissioners coming from different parts of Western Kenya who were trained on mediation to utilize their skills and knowledge in making alternative justice a reality in Kenya.
The Judiciary has formed an AJS Taskforce who have been going all over the country collecting information on traditional forms of resolving disputes and the work of the Western and Eldoret Chapters will be used to inform the National AJS Policy. The ceremony in Kisumu also celebrated the AJS project with the Ker; Luo Council of Elder for their counsel and willingness to learn and Major John Seii, who not only led the first AJS hearing but is now a member of the Building Bridges Initiative.