The Department for International Development (DfID) has disbursed K55 million (US$131 579) to the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) of Mangochi Diocese to help train village tribunals in primary justice.
The training is expected to benefit six traditional authorities (T/As) in Mangochi.
Briefing members of the Primary Justice District Steering Committee at CCJP’s offices in Mangochi on Wednesday, the district’s diocesan secretary, Bruno Banda, said the grant is aimed at ensuring that justice is done at all levels of society.
Banda said Mangochi experiences land disputes, property grabbing, leadership wrangles and witchcraft cases which he said are enemies of natural justice.
“Handling cases such as leadership wrangles, land disputes and property grabbing through the tribunals can reduce conflicts which cause injuries, loss of life and property damage,” he said.
Banda said since the introduction of the primary justice in 2008 and tribunals in 2012 in the district, they have helped to reduce the number of cases referred to formal courts.
He appealed to the steering committee to ensure that women are included in the tribunals.
“Women and children are sidelined in most activities despite being the majority of the country’s population due to cultural practices,” he said.
Traditional Authority (T/A) Chowe thanked DfID for the donation.
“In an area where there is no justice, people suffer from injustice which leads to low participation in national development,” he said.
The four-year project, which opened its doors in 2012 is expected to wind up in 2016.