Local Courts in Offing - Chief Justice
Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda says establishment of local courts in the country will help take justice closer to the people and ease case congestion in upper courts.
Justice Nyirenda said this Wednesday during the official opening of the Magistrate’s court which has been rehabilitated under a European Union (EU) funded program called Chilungamo.
He said the local courts will be different from traditional courts as justice in these courts will be delivered by locals of high integrity, capacity and morals within the community.
Said Justice Nyirenda, “the judiciary is not amused to see trivial cases flooding magistrates’ courts and this is the reason we have plans of establishing local courts.”
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Bright Msaka said the rehabilitation of the Magistrates’ courts is a milestone in dispensation of justice in the country.
“You know people cannot have access justice in shabby and dilapidated structures and we commend the EU for rehabilitating this court,” said Msaka.
European Union Head of Cooperation, Ivo Hoefkens, said it is important for every citizen to have access to justice which he said is a pillar of democracy.
“We are in developmental partnership with the government of Malawi and one area is on promotion of justice and good governance and renovation of magistrates’’ courts fall in this area,” said Hoefkens.
Under Chilungamo Program which is funded by EU, government has rehabilitated Mulanje, Mwanza, Mchinji, Ntaja and Nkhotakota Magistrates’ courts, two other courts are under rehabilitation and refurbishment of three other courts is yet to begin.
Apart from Judiciary, the EU is also supporting chilungamo program at the Malawi Police Service, Malawi Prison Service, Office of the Ombudsman, Malawi Human Rights Commission, Legal Aid Bureau and Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
The EU has pumped 48 million euros into the justice deliver program.