UN to support Mama Samia Legal Aid Campaign

DAR ES SALAAM: The United Nations has also thrown its weight behind the ambitious national legal aid campaign, Mama Samia Legal Aid Campaign, a move that will totally boost the initiative. 

Acting Director of Legal Aids Services Unit in the Ministry of Constitution and Legal Affairs, Ester Msambazi, revealed in Dar es Salaam today explaining that the support will massively benefit the efforts under the campaign to offer free legal aid services to members of the public.

Launched last year, the MSLAC – introduced by the government in Dar es Salaam – has already helped more than 490,000 people and expanded from the port city to Dodoma and five other regions. It aims at offering legal aid to every corner of the country over a period of three years, complemented by a public education component on rights and legal safeguards.

Msambazi welcomed the UN recognition of the effect of the campaign. “It is a great relief for the government to see that the UN acknowledges and appreciates what we are doing with this campaign,” she said. She noted that the support is going to fast-track the campaign and more stakeholders will join in, hence increasing its coverage and effect.

Addressing the Ministry of Constitution and Legal Affairs booth at the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair, Ms Msambazi expressed optimism that the new support will boost the campaign to meet a lot more people and increase the chances of giving legal aid.

READ: Govt admit spike in inheritance, wills disputes

The campaign, under the Ministry, has been attending to marital cases, inheritance, land disputes, among other legal matters. 

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Constitution and Legal Affairs, Mary Makondo, cautioned of the skyrocketing inheritance and wills-related wrangles that risked severing family ties. 

After touring the MSLAC pavilion at the DITF, the PS called for more awareness to the public and accessibility to legal aid services. Legal aid services are greatly in need, with over 600 claims filed in court for litigation.

She called upon members of the public to visit the pavilion and capture all information and services available, which range from marital, inheritance, and land issues. It said the establishment of the One Stop Center for Probate and Family Matters in Temeke made the resolving of family disputes faster.

Msambazi thanked the government for initiating the campaign and commended President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Minister Dr. Pindi Chana for standing by their cause. She pointed out that most of the people who come for legal aid have battles related to marriage and divorce, where most, particularly women, face gender-based violence or seek child support.


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