Ruto chides courts for ‘favouring the rich’
President William Ruto yesterday faulted the tendency by legal systems on land and natural resources to favour the rich at the expense of the poor.
In a speech read on his behalf by Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi during the 10th anniversary of the Environment and Land Court (ELC) at Pwani University in Kilifi, the President was concerned that colonialism has undermined access to justice in the institutional framework around land and environmental resources.
“The institutional framework around land and environmental resources has traditionally been characterised by severe coloniality, even after the achievement of independence. This institutional characteristic is a key driver of poverty and inequality, and an insurmountable barrier to the attainment of sustainable development,” the president said.
He, however, noted that the promulgation of the Kenya Constitution 2010, serves as an intentional instrument of decolonization he said represented the realisation of the fundamental aspiration driving the bitter resistance to colonialism and brave struggle for independence.
The above driving force by the constitution, he said, was the quest to regain control over land. President Ruto reiterated the government’s commitment to fulfilling its portion of responsibilities to facilitate the court.
To support sustainable access to land and environmental justice, he pledged that the government will enhance financial support aimed at establishing more ELCs with the objective of eventually having them in every county.
He called on the Judiciary to pay attention to the role of technology; especially digitisation of land records, which he said will present fresh opportunities to accelerate the realization of land justice, creating advantageous conditions for rapid economic growth.
At the same time the Head of State commended the judges for their tremendous contribution towards increasing the country’s forest cover through tree planting.
“The planting of 100,000 trees in 36 court stations between July and November this year is a highly appropriate gesture that is fully aligned with the court’s mandate. It also demonstrates a commitment by judges to provide leadership in efforts to combat desertification and climate change,” he said.