By Beth Nyaga
Kenyans in all the 47 counties are set to benefit from the decentralization of services offered by the Office of the Attorney and the Department of Justice once all mechanisms are put in place.
Speaking during the Council of Governors’ Forum in Naivasha, Attorney General Professor Githu Muigai has confirmed that the services to be offered were the most sought after in the country.
The services he stated would also support devolution efforts in the counties and included the registration of marriages and businesses, legal profession oversight, litigation, advocates complaints as well as the administration of estates and trusts.
These services which have already been rolled out in 16 counties are in partnership with the Judiciary and Directorate of Public Prosecution and are located within the precincts of the High Courts.
The Attorney General noted that the decentralization of the services had already started in many areas where the offices of the national government coordination (County Commissioners Offices) undertook services such as registering marriage as well as public trustee functions.
Prof. Muigai reiterated that there was still need for physical presence in many areas especially where internet connectivity remained a hindrance in accessing government services. He further confirmed that additional structures were being put in place to fully automate the Huduma Centres that have been providing the registration services.
Meanwhile the provision of pro bono or free legal services to members of the public is also expected to be operationalized once the National Legal Aid Bill being deliberated by Parliament is passed.
The Legal Aid and Awareness constitute one of the national flagship projects in the Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice where the government will facilitate the provision of access to justice for the poor, marginalized and vulnerable in the country.
The Attorney General however noted that challenges such as inadequate human resources capacity as well as budgetary considerations relating to office facilitation and provisions needed to be boosted so as to fully roll out these critical services to all parts of the country.