Dowa communities demand magistrate

Dowa communities demand magistrate

People in Dowa have expressed concern over the absence of a first grade magistrate at the district’s court.

A visit to the magistrate’s court at Dowa Boma established that first grade magistrate Robert Botha has been in Blantyre for further studies since January this year.

In his absence, the court has a third grade magistrate who only handles civil and minor criminal cases while criminal ones are being referred to Mkukula Magistrate’s Court, about 25 kilometres away.

In an interview on Sunday, one of the community members Alick Batwel from Moya Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Msakambewa said suspects’ relatives are forced to travel to Mkukula to follow proceedings.

“We are worried that suspects are being remanded in police custody for a long time. We believe that when one is arrested, the person is still innocent until proven guilty by a competent court, but what is happening is affecting justice delivery,” he said.

The new Dowa Magistrate’s Court under construction

Batwel appealed to government to consider posting a first grade magistrate to help clear a backlog of cases at the court and ensure access to justice.

Dowa Police Station spokesperson Alice Sitima said lack of a first grade magistrate was proving costly on their part due to long distance to Mkukula Magistrate’s Court and the situation has created congestion at the station.

“Some suspects are acquitted because of insufficient evidence as some key witnesses fail to show up during court proceedings to testify,” she said.

High Court of Malawi registrar Kondwani Banda said he was aware of the absence of first grade magistrate at the district’s court.

“We are currently finalising construction of Dowa Magistrate’s Court and once completed, we will be able to post a magistrate there,” he said    

The post Dowa communities demand magistrate first appeared on Nation Online.

The post Dowa communities demand magistrate appeared first on Nation Online.