Chief Kadhi Sheikh Ahmed Muhdhar Muslims has urged Muslims to consider mediation as an effective dispute resolution mechanism instead of going for a court process.
Sheikh Muhdhar said most of the cases being filed before the Kadhi’s Court can be solved through mediation, yet most Muslims to do embrace not it.
“People should first try mediation before rushing to court. Mediation saves time, resources and it is cheaper than the normal court process,” he said.
The Chadhi regretted that the court process was unfriendly and therefore the alternative dispute system should be given priority before any further step is taken.
“Once you file your case in court, it will take long before the decision is rendered. This is both time-consuming and very expensive,” he said.
“Some issues are better dealt with at the family level. Issues of divorce, inheritance and the marital problem should be solved by a mediator invited by the parties involved,” he added.
He was speaking during a virtual session with Muslim clerics from the Coast region. The meeting brought together Muslim Judiciary stakeholders and the clerics.
They stressed the importance of mediation to help in reducing the number of disputes being filed at the various Kadhi’s courts in Kenya.
Sheikh Muhdhar noted that mediation resolutions were easier to be complied with because they are engineered by the parties in the dispute as compared to the court rulings that may be harsh and unsatisfactory to one or both parties.
He said that mediation in most cases ensure that the relationship among the people involved in a dispute is not broken because the entire process is harmonious and friendly.
“Courts should be the last port of call. Try mediation first then go to court if it fails,” he said.
Article 159(2) (c) of the Constitution recognises mediation and encourages it to be applied by courts as a form of dispute resolution.
The Judiciary implemented court-annexed mediation to help resolve cases that are not necessarily required to go through the normal court process.