The Judiciary has Monday decentralized operations of the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) out of Nairobi.

This means that one can now file and have their political dispute resolved in the following seven (7) regions: Nairobi region – Milimani Law Courts, Meru region – Meru Law Courts, Mombasa region – Mombasa Law Courts, Kisumu region – Kisumu Law Courts, Kakamega region – Kakamega Law Courts, Nyeri region –Nyeri Law Courts and Eldoret region –Eldoret Law Courts.

Chief Justice Martha Koome while making the announcement termed the move as an important milestone in the Judiciary’s quest to realise the goal of access to justice with respect to the resolution of political disputes in the country.

“With the decentralisation of the PPDT to other regions outside Nairobi, Kenyans can now access justice with respect to political disputes without having to travel long distances to access justice. This ensures that access to justice with respect to this category of disputes will be cost-effective, expeditious and convenient,” she said.

Justice Koome in addition noted that the move was particularly crucial with respect to political disputes arising out of political parties’ primaries which arise from around the country.

“It should be noted that during previous electoral cycles i.e. 2013 and 2017 electoral cycles, all disputes arising from political parties’ primaries were filed in Nairobi. This caused challenges in terms of accessibility of justice given the distance some litigants had to travel to Nairobi to access the Tribunal.”

An additional milestone made by the Judiciary is the leveraging of technology for the efficiency of the delivery of justice by the PPDT. This is to be realised through the e-filling system.

What this means is that those who will be filing cases before the PPDT will be prompted to use the online filing system.

To ensure that the decentralisation process and the e-filling process function effectively, Justice Koome noted that her office had designated contact persons being the Court Administrators of each of the seven (7) identified court stations and ICT officers to be on standby to assist any persons who will be in need of guidance or assistance on the filing of their political disputes.

The CJ concluded her address by thanking the Office of the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi, members of the PPDT led by the Chairperson Ms Desma Nungo, the Office of the Registrar and other partners who have worked hard to see to the twin interventions that are crucial to the Judiciary’s goal of deepening access to electoral justice become a reality.

By Fred Odanga Azelwa.