Women in Karonga have hailed Primary Justice Programme, saying it has helped restore peace in families apart from eradicating some harmful cultural practices that pushed young girls into early marriages in the district.
During a meeting with Lupembe Area Development Committee (ADC) on Friday to discuss sustainability of the project ahead of its conclusion, one of the participants, Lengie Ndovi, said previously, women in the area were exposed to huge suffering including increased gender-based violence (GBV) but could hardly access justice due to long distances to formal courts.
She said primary justice has increased access to justice by women through the introduction of village tribunals.
“We commend Catholic Commission for Justice [CCJP] through Primary Justice Programme for establishing village tribunals in our area because they have reduced distances we used to travel to access justice at formal courts,” Ndovi said.
Group village head Mwangolera also commended Primary Justice Programme, saying it has brought peace among the people in the community.
He said he will work tirelessly to ensure the project is sustained through working together with community-based educators.
Karonga district commissioner Richard Hara said people in the communities can now access justice faster and cheaper, through tribunals within their locality which foster reconciliation.
CCJP-Karonga Diocese monitoring and evaluation officer Deodatus Muriya said the programme was established to strengthen local justice systems including village tribunals to effectively provide justice to people, especially women and children. n