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Sunday, December 5, 2021

The EU and DPP donate Sh.10 Million mobile justice speed boat to Lamu

By Moses Ochengo

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The various Lamu villages will now access justice, after the European Union donated a speed boat worth  Sh10 million.

The speed boat, the MV Adil was launched by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji and European Union Ambassador Katrin Hagemann.

The new speed boat is expected to enhance mobile court proceedings by making it possible for prosecutors and other legal staff  to traverse the dispersed islands.

The Lamu island comprises of various islands located in remote areas. They include the famed Lamu Old Town, Manda, Siyu, Pate, Faza, Kizingitini, Ndau, Mkokoni, Kiwayu and Kiunga.

The modern engine boats provide transportation within the widely dispersed islands. However, the expensive costs incurred prohibit most poor locals from accessing courts, thus denying them justice.

DPP Haji said that his office took note of the locals’ challenges two years ago, during a community consultative engagement.

“I witnessed first-hand the pain, suffering and injustice occasioned on the residents due to their inability to access justice,” he said.

Mr Haji also added that high transportation costs levied by the commercial boat operators encumbered efforts by prosecutors and other criminal justice officials to deliver justice to the unreached remote areas.

“I appreciate the support from the EU through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for facilitating the acquisition of this boat. “We will ensure justice reaches all. This newly launched boat will enable justice actors to go beyond their limits to serve the people of Lamu and by extension the people of Kenya.” he said.

Ambassador Hagemann said that the donation is part of the EU’s wider ‘Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery in Kenya’ project, that seeks to enable Lamu locals access justice.

“I believe the vessel will enable fast-tracking of cases and ensuring justice is administered to the citizens wherever they are. It’s important that the justice sector has its own boat so that it can have the possibility to get to all of you and administer justice where the people are,” she said.

Malindi High Court Presiding Judge Reuben Nyakundi, who also accompanied the DPP, said the speed boat will facilitate access to justice and judicial services to the Lamu residents.

“This is a great milestone in terms of facilitating the administration of justice. What justice requires is both physical, hardware and software infrastructure as a carrier to enable the administration of justice to be effective and efficient,” he said.

Local human rights groups, including Haki Africa, Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri), Lamu Justice Network and the Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics, also thanked the office of the DPP and the EU for the speed boat.

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