Communities around Bangula area under Senior Chief Mbenje in Nsanje district have expressed gladness with mobile courts conducted in the area by consortium of Child Rights Advocacy and Paralegal Aid Centre (CRAPAC) and Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), Lilongwe diocese.
Speaking after he attended the court proceedings on Monday, Hussien Jafali from the area who is also former ward councilor for Lalanje ward, said the court sitting at Bangula brings lessons to people in the area on how best they can respect the rule of law.
Jafali further said people in the area have been in conflict with the law citing rampant cases of defilement, having sexual affairs with minors while others marrying under aged children.
“With the coming in of the mobile courts, people are now aware that defilement is a serious offense. Thanks to the consortium of CRAPAC and CCJP for being our eye openers.
“We used to spend a lot of money for us to access justice in Nsanje. From here, to and from we spend K4, 000 while our friends from either Fatima and Misamvu in the areas of Senior Chiefs Mlolo and Tengani respectively spend about K20, 000 to and from only to access justice or testify before the court which made many to fail to do so,” he said.
Concurring with Hussein, was Yobe Simenti from Misamvu area who said through the mobile courts, people are now able to access justice at their door step. He then asked more organizations to emulate the same by the two organizations.
On his part, CRAPAC Executive Director, Alfred Munika said they have twenty five court sessions and that so far, five are done in areas of Bangula, Fatima and Misamvu in the district.
He said during their court proceedings, they have discovered that people in the area of Senior Chief Mlolo need a magistrate who should be based there.
“We have therefore penned the office of registar of court to provide communities of Mlolo with a magistrate so that people of the area which has a population of over 100, 000 should access timely justice.”
“Because there is no court there, people are living a reckless life and as a result, there are more reports of defilement, rape, incest’s including murder. We need to bring in sanity by having a good court and a police with more officers in place,” he stated
During the day, his worship, the First Grade Magistrate, Watson Mankhanamba heard six cases. He convicted one to 13 years imprisonment with hard labor for the offence of rape.
The consortium through the mobile courts, is implementing the project in Nsanje district dubbed “fighting gender based violence through collaborative efforts” from May to November this year with funding from the European Union (EU) amounting to K11.6 million under the government and UN Agencies joint program, the Spotlight Initiative.