Africa-Press – Malawi. The Office of the Ombudsman registered 47 complaints against the Judiciary as of August this year. The revelation was made Thursday by Magistrates and Judges Association of Malawi (Majam) Board Chairperson Justice Frank Kapanda during the opening ceremony of a two-day Conference in Blantyre. Kapanda said, looking at the number of cases, there are indications that the aggrieved people sought redress from other institutions.
“We need to do more and reflect on this so that we can reduce incidents where the general public is not accessing courts. I guess it is also a fact that, when people start going to other institutions to seek redress in their disputes, it can also be an indication that they are saying that if we go there [courts] we will not be assisted— that is why they are going to the Ombudsman,” he said.
Kapanda further called on the Judiciary to promote access to justice by ensuring speedy delivery of justice. “But the point that we are driving home is that the number of cases is an indication that, perhaps, we are not doing very well in the area of giving our people access to justice. So allowing the citizens to access justice is what we are promoting,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Chief Justice, Judge Lovemore Chikopa said the courts exist to ensure that laws made by Parliament are enforced and implemented.
“This kind of gathering is important because it brings together all the magistrates and judges in the country. And this is where we discuss what we, as a profession, can do in ensuring that there is access to justice,” he said.
United Nations Development Programme representative Juliet Sibande said they are mobilising resources for the justice sector to ensure that justice prevails. Meanwhile, the Judiciary has set up a judicial complaints committee to be handling complaints against the Judiciary.