571 outstanding homicide cases in the south

There are 571 unattended homicide cases in the Southern and Eastern regions as the Legal Aid department is failing to clear the backlog due to lack of resources.

According to Chief Legal Aid Advocate for the South, Peter Magombo, this is a huge setback and a hiccup in justice delivery as it sets a bad impression of the public legal system.

“The current situation means that families of murder victims continue to live with the gap as there is no closure on the matter due to the unwrapped cases,” explained Magombo.

Magombo told the Malawi News Agency Wednesday that the situation represents an incomplete circle of justice delivery in the country as by law, all people answering homicide cases are eligible to be represented by government lawyers.

“Government arrests the accused through the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), tries the people through the judiciary system and yet it fails to give them the legal representation which is meant to be through the Legal Aid department,” explained Magombo.

The Chief Advocate also mentioned the issue of under staffing, as another reason why the office is failing to efficiently serve the people as intended.

Currently the Southern Region Legal Aid Office has five Legal Advocates that are meant to serve the entire South and Eastern regions.

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