Hope for Relief executive director Richard Mwanjasi says mobile courts will enable gender-based violence (GBV) victims in Chitipa to access justice easily.
He said this on Wednesday at Ilengo in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kameme where Chitipa Magistrate’s Court was sitting as a mobile court.
The trial involved Jeke Masungwa, 42, who was answering a charge of wounding his girlfriend in March this year.
State prosecutor Francis Sichali told the court that the accused stabbed his girlfriend in the abdomen when he found her with another man in a house he was renting for her.
In his submission, the prosecutor said the offence was serious and carried a maximum sentence of 14 years.
First grade magistrate Billy Ngosi found Masungwa guilty of causing grievous body harm contrary to Section 238 of the Penal Code and sentenced him to eight years imprisonment.
Commenting on the judgement, Mwanjasi, whose organisation facilitated the mobile court session, said the initiative will clear outstanding GBV cases.
He said: “The judgement shows that we are on course to ending GBV in the district.
“We will continue with these mobile court sessions in hard-to-reach areas to enable poor people access justice.”
Mwanjasi also blamed harmful cultural practices for fuelling GBV.
On his part, Chitipa district gender development officer James Gubudu commended the 15-month UN Women-funded mobile court project, saying it will enhance speedy trial of GBV cases.
“Many cases die naturally due to long distance to Chitipa. For example, from Kameme to Chitipa Magistrate’s Court, it is about 34 kilometres and people pay about K5 000 to travel,” he said.