Sending at least half of the newly-hired judges to the Land Court will no doubt significantly boost its quest to unlock thousands of stalled property disputes.
The backlog of cases in the land courts has stalled real estate’s deals worth billions of shillings and delayed much-needed development of agricultural property, not to mention subjecting families to anguish due to unresolved succession.
A shortage of judges is to blame for the inordinately high number of unresolved land court cases, which stood at about 9,181 last June. Therefore, the Judiciary has taken the appropriate measure in allocating 20 of the 41 new judges to the Environment and Land Court.
Land is a key mover of the Kenya economy for two key reasons; first, farming, including tea, flowers and coffee exports account for close to a third of annual economic output and source of employment for majority of Kenyans.
Secondly, land is critical to construction and real estate development, making the sector one of the country’s hottest investment segments. A thriving real estate also boosts auxiliary sectors like the production and sale of cement, paint, timber and steel.
It is expected that hiring more judges will unlock stalled land suits for economic growth.