SHOULD INMATES ROT IN PRISON DUE TO FUEL SHORTAGE?
We are disheartened that justice has been delayed for the prisoners in this country in the name of fuel shortage for their transportation to the court premises. Those in charge of the justice docket in the country should learn from the adage that “Justice delayed is justice denied.” We are aware that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) earlier this year donated up to twenty one vehicles to boost justice for the poor in this country. This is an excellent gesture from UNDP, a partner that cares about the wellbeing of those who are unable to access justice promptly in the country. But, should the UNDP also provide fuel for the vehicles that they had donated freely? Not really. You cannot donate to someone a pot with water. You can only be given a pot and fetch for yourself water to keep in the pot. How can the Judiciary of the Republic of South Sudan, the land of great abundance fail to refuel a car to take the inmates to the court? This sounds unfair to those whose brothers and sisters are languishing in the Juba Central Prison and other detention centres in the country. This particular challenge requires the Minister of Justice to act swiftly because failure to resolve the issue of fuel shortage may sabotage the justice system in the country. Already many court verdicts have been halted in the name of fuel shortage as of Wednesday this week. There are court verdicts that should not be delayed such as the Gender Based Violence (SGBV) cases due to its impact because most of the victims are mostly vulnerable women and children. These kinds of cases should be addressed immediately to avoid accumulation. Indeed power blackout, fuel shortage and Judges Transport facilitation continue to impede justice in the country. There have been scenarios where court sessions were abruptly halted due to power blackout. The Judiciary of South Sudan should work hard to avoid a replica of the same situation in the near future. God bless the Land of Abundance.