Friday, 26th August, 2016 Kituo Cha Sheria in partnership with Wangu Kanja Foundation and Makadara Law Courts organized a Legal Aid Clinic and Awareness forum at the Ruben Center in Mukuru Kwa Ruben in Nairobi.
The one day event which was dubbed “Access to Justice Day” saw residents of Mukuru community and it’s environs receive free legal advice from Kituo Cha Sheria lawyers and Volunteer advocates. This was followed by an awareness forum on sexual and gender based violence and sensitization on court processes and procedures. There were also keynote speeches from some of the invited guests.
Speaking at the event, Makadara Law courts Chief Magistrate, Hon. H.M Nyaga said that they were working hard not only in Makadara but also in other courts countrywide to transform the image of the judiciary. He said they were working towards delivering justice in a timely manner and with impartiality. Hon. Nyaga also took advantage of the event to encourage residents to always report mainly defilement cases to court assuring them that they would ensure justice prevails.
“As long as I am in Makadara, I am not going to let you down,” he said. He added that the court had received 129 defilement cases this year alone, a shocking statistic, he said calling on residents not to keep quiet about sexual and gender based violence but expose the perpetrators and also educate the rest of the community.
Kituo Cha Sheria’s board member, Advocate John Chigiti encouraged participants to come to Kituo Cha Sheria for legal advice since it was free of charge. He took time to explain what Kituo does and assured the residents of quality pro bono services at the centre.
Kituo’s Executive Director, Ms. Gertrude Angote encouraged the community members to embrace the various community justice centres set up by Kituo for legal advice from trained paralegals. “We can hold each other’s hand to ensure everybody has access justice,” she said.
Ms. Angote also took time to introduce the M-haki platform to the participants as she explained what M-haki does saying that the platform was a perfect avenue to enable access to justice in a timely manner and affordably from wherever you are provided you have or can access a mobile phone. She said this would go a long way in saving the residents the cost of travelling to Kituo or to the justice centres.
Residents led by Alice Wanini, a community representative, thanked Kituo Cha Sheria for training them as paralegals and for offering legal advice. She urged judges present from the Makadara law courts to be handling defilement cases swiftly and with the seriousness the cases deserve.