Nairobi to get 5 more small claims courts


Martha Karambu Koome is Kenya's first woman Chief Justice following her appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 19, 2021. PHOTO | NMG

The Chief Justice has said five small claims courts will be built in Nairobi to boost access to justice and expeditious determination of commercial disputes whose value is below Sh1 million.

Chief Justice Martha Koome Wednesday announced that NMS has pledged to put up the five stations in Kasarani, Makadara, Dagoretti, Mathare and Embakasi in three months.

She said the Judiciary plans to roll out at least ten other stations of the new small claims court in other regions before the end of this financial year.

Justice Koome spoke at the Supreme Court during the swearing-in of two more adjudicators of the small claims court.

She said the new subordinate judicial unit would expand the reach of the formal justice system to unserved areas. The two adjudicators are Keyne Odhiambo Gweno and Martin Njeru Mutua.

Justice Koome said the move would ease the backlog of cases at the commercial and criminal courts.

She urged the new adjudicators to be flexible and take active control of court processes to guarantee simple and timely disposal of cases.

“Small claims courts must be a forum for ‘community oriented’ justice that seeks to unlock access to justice for our communities at the lowest level. This demands that you ensure that the courts’ processes are accessible, cost-effective, friendly, flexible and simple,” she said.

Justice Koome said the court would receive numerous cases based on its speed in expediting commercial disputes.

Small Claims Court finalises each case within 60 days of filing a suit.

According to the Small Claims Court Act, cases filed at the court are heard and determined on the same day or proceedings are conducted on a day-to-day basis until the final determination.

Justice Koome said the small claims court at Milimani, which has been operating since April 26, 2021, reflects the impact the court would have on the overall administration of justice.

“During the period the court has been in operation, a total of 1,222 cases have been registered, and 481 cases heard and determined,” she said.