The Judiciary has said people in Chikwawa should expect speedy prosecution of court cases following the handover of Ngwengwe Magistrate’s Court situated over 50 kilometres from the district headquarters.
Ngwengwe Magistrate’s Court was closed in 2011 following administrative issues, a development which resulted in people from Traditional Authority (T/A) Makhuwira walking a distance of over 50 kilometres to access justice at Ngabu or at the district headquarters.
But frequent adjournments of court cases, coupled with the cost of travelling, prompted many people to drop cases, thereby denying justice to a number of communities in the district.
Speaking on Saturday during the handover ceremony, Principal Resident Magistrate Innocent Nebi said the event signified the bouncing back of freedom and justice to people.
“What it means now is that the communities will be living peacefully because their disputes will be resolved close to their villages; there will be no excuse for witnesses to refuse to come to the court to give their testimonies because of travel expenses as was the case in the past five years,” said Nebi.
The area, according to Chikwawa First Grade Magistrate Gladstone Chirundu, registers many cases of livestock thefts, marriage breakups, and domestic violence.
Chirundu then urged the people to take care of the furniture and court buildings.
In his remarks, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Chikwawa Diocese Secretary Moses Msiyadungu said the aim of renovating and furnishing the court was to end dropping of cases that was denying vulnerable people access to justice.
“With funding from UNFPA [United Nations Populations Fund] through the Gewe [Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Project], we thought of assisting the magistrates in Chikwawa to be delivering justice close to people,” said Msiyadungu.
He said CCJP spent over K1.7 million on renovations and procuring furniture for the court.
The Gewe Project aim at promoting gender equality and equity in Malawi through the support of state and no- state institutions targeting women, girls and vulnerable people.
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