Balaka — Pic sourced from internet
The Malawi Legal Aid Bureau says lack of knowledge among vulnerable groups on where to get legal representation was hindering their access to justice.
Public Relations Officer for Legal Aid, Jacqueline Ngongonda has since urged communities to utilize the Chilungamo project (Justice and accountability) which among others will enable people to get legal representation through lawyers.
Speaking on Monday during an awareness campaign meeting, Ngongonda said most Malawians were not familiar with services being offered by various institutions including Office of the Ombudsman, Malawi Human Rights Commission and Malawi Legal Aid Bureau.
"We have been receiving a lot of referrals where people report various cases to institutions which are not mandated to handle such cases. This awareness campaign was instituted to disseminate information to the masses on where they can get legal assistance for free.
"Our target is to reduce incarcerated cases as it is still increasing tremendously in various prisons in the country due to lack of representation in court," said Ngongonda.
Group Village Headman Thawisa, of sub-Traditional Authority Mphalula described the development as a tool that will open eyes of many people in his area.
He said the direction that Malawi Legal Aid has given will enable him to reduce cases of land disputes and chieftainship wrangle which he described as rampant in his area.
The Chilungamo project (Justice and Accountability) is a five year project with funding from European union.