LHRC comes with legal aid services in Njombe

THE Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) has launched legal aid services in Njombe region with the aim of enhancing people’s access to justice and protecting rights of the most vulnerable members of society.

The services that will be provided for a week were launched on Monday as part of the LHRC’s 27th-anniversary celebrations, according to Fulgence Massawe, the Director of Advocacy and Reforms.

“We chose to come to Njombe region because, as the centre was developing its work plan for 2019-2024, it revealed a significant need for legal aid services in the Southern Highlands, particularly in this region.

“The legal services that will be provided during the one week spell include child care disputes, land disputes, marital issues, inheritance, labour, and criminal cases,” he said

The exercise, he said, will take place in Njombe Urban, Makambako, and Njombe Rural, as well as some of the prisons that they will visit.

LHRC was established in 1995 as a non-governmental, voluntary, non-partisan and not-for-profit sharing organisation, with the purpose of working to empower and sensitize the people of Tanzania on legal and human rights.

Since its establishment, approximately 540,000 people have been reached, 216,000 women and 324,000 men.

According to him, the LHRC has successfully resolved many disputes, including 210,000 land disputes, 75,000 labour disputes, 63,000 labour disputes, 44,000 children’s inheritances, and 27,300 marriage issues.

Njombe Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Ms Judica Omary, said that legal aid plays an important role in every community as it will assist them with their legal issues when the need arises.

Acting Njombe Regional Police Commander (RPC), Assistant Commissioner of Police Butusyo Mwambelo said community members should not be afraid to get legal aid as it will equip them with the necessary information that will reduce the number of incidents of sexual violence and killings in the region.

Residents of Njombe region, including Aliponda Mtweve, Onesmo Mwajombe, and Betha Msewa, say a lack of legal education is causing murders and extreme violence due to land and property disputes.

The UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice adopted a resolution on access to legal aid in criminal justice systems in 2012.

The resolution adopted a set of principles and guidelines designed to ensure that access to legal information, advice and assistance is available to all through the provision of legal aid—thus realizing rights for the poor and marginalized and entrenching one of the key building blocks of a fair, humane and efficient criminal justice system.

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