Leaders advocates for change in legal aid funds to help poor

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Tana River, KENYA: Tana River County leaders have requested the judiciary to push for at least sh. 1 million budget to county residence judges that would cater for lawyers’ payment.

Speaking at meeting held at Garsen, former area mp also a lawyer Mr. Danson Buya Mungatana told Chief Justice David Maraga to push for the Legal Aid Act fund to be brought under the residence judges, so as to help poor residents who can’t afford Lawyers.

According to Mr. Mungatana, many residents fail to follow up on their cases due to poor financial status and that proper allocation of the fund would help them in handling their cases.

“Residents are facing great challenge in dealing with their cases; they normally get confused because they don’t have lawyers. The residents who get lawyer’s help are those with major offences.  My Lord everything starts a little and I believe it is possible if every residents judge gets a line budget of at least one million shilling to work with local lawyers to make sure our people get representation,” Mr. Mungatana said.

Mr. Mungatana’s was also backed up by county governor Mr. Hussein Dado who lamented that it would be better if the poor residents would get assistance in  their cases through government paid lawyers.

Following utterances of the county leaders, CJ Maraga affirmed that the Legal Aid fund Act was in progress but the only challenge he mentioned was the fund being under the Attorney General’s office.

Mr. Maraga added that bringing the fund in line with the judiciary was the great challenge unless an amendment of the Act is done by the National Assembly.

“We have the Legal Aid Act has established a fund but that fund is going to be managed by AG’s office and that is our great challenge,” said Mr. Maraga.

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