Mozambique: Legislation Should Reflect Social Dynamics

Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi declared on Thursday that the country's legislation should reflect the experience and social dynamics inside communities across the country.

He said that citizens are concerned that the institutions of justice are not merely physically distant from them, but are distant in linguistic and cultural terms.

Speaking at the ceremony where the first stone was laid for the construction of the Infulene district court, in the southern city of Matola, he said that people remain worried that the laws do not reflect their own experiences.

Once again he criticised the slow pace of Mozambican justice, and demanded that the process of cases through the legal system must be speeded up.

"There are repeated complaints at how slow the courts are in dealing with cases". Nyusi said, "at the inadequate way they deal with citizens, and at procedures that are not easy to understand. These are matters that should no longer be neglected".

The Infulene ceremony was part of a drive to ensure that there is a decent courtroom, and houses for the judges, in every district in the country by 2023. Nyusi said this initiative will take place in two phases.

In the first phase, this year, 32 courts will be built, and in 2022 a further 29 courts will be built. The entire initiative will cost over 6.1 billon meticais (105 million US dollars at current exchange rates). In addition, 102 houses for judges will be built, each costing about a million meticais.

Mozambique has 164 districts, of which 22 currently have no court building at all. The programme envisages not only building new courtS, but rehabilitating and requalifying existing courts so that by 2023 there are "decent courtrooms" in every district.

For Nyusi, the courts to be built or rehabilitated should serve as "true spaces for the strengthening of citizenship, for building the trust that citizens should deposit in Mozambican justice, places that look out for human rights and for the dignity of the human person".

"The lack of functioning courts in all districts is a real hindrance to access to formal justice, given the huge size of our territory", said the President.

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