Democracy and Justice afar in Kamakwie
Democracy and justice are like Siamese twins, but in some parts of Sierra Leone it seems that these two indispensable concepts are not in existence. These two firm foundations are far removed from the people and they only exist in words of mouth and on white papers. Before going into the nitty-gritty in deliberating on these two main features of a democratic state, Kamakwie could be used as a focal point of this bad governance which will subsequently serve as a case study in discussing democracy and justice afar in other areas. Kamakwie is located in the northern part of Sierra Leone and it has it’s headquarter town as Makeni.
According to the “Good Morning Show” programme on 98.1 Radio people in Kamakwie are not benefiting from the full dispensation of justice as there are no Magistrate Courts within that locality; and the report further to states that whenever cases that needed immediate attention are to be heard, parties involved had to pay motor fare for their case to be addressed in Makeni which is a very slow process of justice.
Residents in Kamakwie are therefore not benefiting from the justice system of the country due to the absence of the Court structure as well as legal practitioners, and as a matter of fact there is a saying that “justice delayed is justice denied”. In the absence of the court system in Kamakwie, it is timely to say the least that democracy is far removed in this part of the country.
According to the radio interview with the Local Unit Commander (LUC) David Kamara, “being that people have to pay fare from Kamakwie to Makeni for their cases to be heard, many people have abandoned attending to Court session.”Â
“Cases of great significance have been neglected because of inaccessibility of justice, our rights as citizens have been trampled upon with impunity”, cried Musu Kandeh, a resident of Kamakwie town.
Democracy and justice are intertwined, one cannot do without the other and where there is no justice democracy is certainly non existent. Other places around the county are suffering similar set backs due to poor justice system. People in Kono are exception to haphazard justice dispensation. When matters of grave concern come up in the district they are been referred to Freetown or Kenema in the East of the country which causes discomfort and lack of apathy in people who are involved in the issue because of distance that leads to the capital.
In the face of all these maladministration, residents of both Kamakwie and Kono are calling on the Justice Sector Development Programme to come to their rescue as justice and democracy are not in sight, let alone talk of its practicality.
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