Influence of traditional justice system on effective conflict management in Muhoroni Sub county, Kenya
Across the world, communities have been using different traditional methods in resolving disputes and managing various types of conflicts. In most instances, formal judicial systems are considered by disputants as foreign, expensive, and lead to social fragmentation and further animosity among members of same community. While studies reveal the importance attributed to this judicial system in managing conflicts in Africa, there is need for a study to establish its contribution to conflict management among communities in Kisumu County. The purpose of this study was to establish the influence of traditional justice system in conflict management in Muhoroni Sub County of Kisumu County. Specific objectives were to examine appropriateness of different methods of traditional justice system used for conflict management; to identify different forms of common conflicts which are managed by traditional justice system; and to establish the influence of different methods of traditional justice system on the management of various forms of common conflicts in Muhoroni Sub County. A qualitative research design was adopted on a target population comprising of all the assistant chiefs and 45 village elders responsible for the maintenance of peace in the Sub County. Census and purposive sampling technique were used to select 15 assistant chiefs and 9 village elders respectively, as the sample size of the study: making a total of 24 respondents. Data was collected using interview schedule and observation guides, and data analysis was done through thematic methods. It was found that negotiation is the main methods used for conflict management by the sub location and village administrators, while cattle rustling are the main types of conflict that often occur among the community members. Similarly, the study revealed that traditional justice system influences cohesion among community members. It was recommended more training on mediation, negotiation, and should be done to sub location and village administrators to enhance skills in this system; reporting mechanisms should also be prompt (immediately a particular offence takes place), more centres for mediation, negotiation, and conciliation should be opened so as to enable as many people as possible access to this service. For further research, the researcher recommends for the following studies to be done: Influence of hybrid (formal and informal) justice system on the management of conflict; and the influence of traditional justice system on human rights enhancement.