Provision of 120 bicycles worth over 21 Million Kwacha to Primary Justice Volunteers in Phalombe is expected to improve delivery of justice at community level in the district through a project that encourages local level dialogue in times of disagreements.
District Commissioner for Phalombe Harry Phiri made the remarks on Tuesday while presenting the bicycles that the British Department for International Development (DFID) which supports Primary Justice Projects in the country procured for the volunteers.
Phiri said throughout the past, Primary Justice which is a project implemented through the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) had been rocked with mobility challenges that crippled the operations of volunteers who are the hub of the project.
“These volunteers are the ones that collect cases concerning disagreements in their communities and provide legal advice that leads to reconciliation at community level before they reach the courts; and where a case is more complicated they take it to our local tribunals that help them address it, so mobility was a big challenge for them to reach all the corners of their communities,” said the DC, adding that now that the DFID had provided them with bicycles, their operations will be more effective.
Commenting on the need to encourage Primary Justice in the district, the commissioner said where people are able to reconcile before taking their disagreements to courts of law there is an opportunity of reducing case overload at the courts and wastage of resources by both parties involved in the case.
“When a case reaches the court of law, both parties have to travel long distances to be at the courts, and they may need food and even accommodation where a case is taking long to be addressed and all these can be reduced when the parties agree to resolve their cases through primary measures at a local level,” he emphasized.
Taking her turn in commending the gesture, one of the volunteers Jenifer Chirombo of Bwanaisa village Traditional Authority Nkhumba said the results of having good mobility in the course of their work will be displayed in the reduction of minor cases that reach the courts of law and contribute to case overloads.
120 volunteers received bicycles and each of the Zimbabwe procured bikes cost 180,000 Malawi Kwacha.