Anthony Kirima via web
On Monday, 25th September, 2017 Kituo cha Sheria commemorated the Access to Justice Day at the Meru Main Prison in Meru. The day was celebrated to acknowledge the contributions of the prison paralegals as they play a big role in educating inmates about their legal rights to appeal for justice. There were many activities organized by the prison inmates to celebrate the achievements of Kituo’s paralegals at the prison justice centre. The day started-off with a tree planting ceremony followed by a colorful cultural program of song, dance and poetry. There was an enjoyable moot court skit/ debate session presented by the male prisoners which showcased their learning and understanding of bail and bond, community service order, legal representation and other judicial procedures, as tutored by the prison paralegals. The Meru Resident Magistrate Lucy Ambasi who was present in person to address the gathering as the Chief Guest. Mr. Edwin Mulochi the Meru High Court Prosecutor, Officers from the Probation Office Mr. Nicholas Mugambi and Winrose Gaceri were also present to grace the occasion. Kituo Volunteer advocates Victor Mutuerandu and Kaumbi Kioga were among other guests present. Kituo Cha Sheria was represented by programme manager Faith Ochieng’, Mandira Gupta, Samantha Oswago and Anthony Kinyua. The Officer-in-Charge (OIC); Meru Main Prison- ACP. Benson Mbogori and the Meru prison human rights officer, Mr. Joel Katorima welcomed the day’s visitors with great warmth and happiness to a brilliant celebration of Access to Justice Day at the prison Justice centre. Guests visited the prisoners’ workshops after the cultural show to appreciate their handiwork and also purchased a few items from there to boost the prisoners’ self-confidence and self-esteem. The Workshops were very impressive as there were professional trainers training the inmates on carpentry, carving and other skills.
The Meru prison justice center, launched on 10th August, 2016 together with other prison centers have contributed in a big way to the decongestion of prisons and at the same time made justice accessible to those who could not afford the services of an advocate. Giving the keynote address, the Resident Magistrate Ms. Ambasi appreciated the work of the Paralegals and expressed her satisfaction in seeing prisoners being able to self-represent and access justice within the prison. The prison justice centre representative presented challenges faced by the inmates as well the major milestones achieved including successful appeals and the prisoners’ right to vote. Kituo Cha Sheria remains a constant friend of the poor and the marginalized helping them to access free legal aid to ultimately achieve justice.