The Department for International Development (DfID) through UK Aid on Friday handed over 3,200 bicycles and 60 motorcycles to the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) and the Judiciary towards improving access to justice for the most vulnerable populations of Malawi.
The handover ceremony of the motorcycles and bicycles worth £470,000 (about K418 million) was held at British Embassy in Lilongwe,
Speaking at the ceremony, head of DfID office in Malawi, Jen Marshall said since the UK government started supporting Malawi’s justice sector in 2011, mobility of those involved in the provision and delivery of justice services has been a constant problem.
She said this investment is important for the delivery of both informal and formal justice at district and community level.
“People who are trying to educate people, engage with people and serve justice need to be able to get around to different places where justice is needed,” Marshall said.
CCJP received 3,100 bicycles for its community based educators (CBEs) on primary justice while the Judiciary got 100 bicycles for court clerks and marshals and the 60 motor cycles for lay magistrates.
Patron for CCJP His Grace Archbishop Tarcizio Ziyaye of the Archdiocese of Lilongwe said the bicycles will ease mobility of the CBEs when visiting different places.
“It was a challenge for them to provide primary justice services to all people. Some places are very far and hard to reach by foot, so it was difficult to reach the people in need of justice at the right time,” he said.
Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, SC, commended UK Aid for the support it provides to the Judiciary in improving the delivery and access to justice.
He said that the bicycles and motorcycles will allow the Judiciary to take justice to everyone irrespective of social and economic status.
“Access to justice must not be a luxury and privilege for the elite, but to all people in need including vulnerable populations in rural areas,” Nyirenda said.
He assured the UK Aid that the motorcycles and bicycles will be used for intended purposes and called on the beneficiaries to take extra care of them.
The support is part of the UK’s Justice for Vulnerable Groups (JVG) Programme which has been running from December 2011 and came to a close on March 31 this year.
The £16 million programme provided support to traditional and formal justice systems to be more accountable and responsive to women, children and detainees.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :