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Most Kenyans say Land court services expensive

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A frontal view of the newly refurbished Milimani Law Courts November 17, 2011. The suit, filed at Nairobi’s Milimani Commercial Courts, marks an escalation in what is turning out to be a legal land mine for banks that had welcomed credit referencing as a means of weeding out bad borrowers from the loans market. HEZRON NJOROGE

The majority of Kenyans are perturbed by the high cost of seeking justice in the Environment and Land court, a new survey shows.

The study by the Land Development and Governance Institute (LDGI) shows that nearly nine in ten Kenyans (86 percent) see the cost as high, effectively making it difficult for them to secure justice.

Lengthy litigation at Kenya’s courts increases legal and court fees paid by litigants to courts or layers.

“However, 14 percent of the respondents felt the cost of seeking justice was affordable,” the LDGI report says.

Bribes paid to court officials also take a financial toll on those seeking justice since they have to pay millions of shillings to secure justice.

“36 percent of the respondents still found that corruption is rife in the courts. 56 percent of the respondents ranked the corruption levels as low and 8 percent ranked it as very low,” it adds.

The data, which was conducted in March 2021, sampled 1,036 individuals in 36 land registries in 34 counties.

However, more than a half of respondents (66 percent) think the cost of transacting land is affordable with 39 percent saying it is unaffordable.

In September 2015, the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning introduced an online land search option for the Nairobi Registry, hosted on the government’s ‘e-Citizen’ platform.

However, the majority (82 percent) are unaware of the portal while 18 percent are aware.