The National – Tuesday, February 8, 2011
By ALISON ANIS
MANY village court officials in Central have voiced their frustrations after waiting in vain for their small portion of monthly allowances that they say the government owes them for their services to maintaining peace, justice, including law and order in their communities through the village court system.
Chairman of the southwest Mekeo village court area in Kairiku, Andrew Aufe, said his officers were disappointed and indicated that they would stop work because they had not received any payments from the provincial pay office since the beginning of last year.
Aufe said himself and eight other village court magistrates and nine peace officers were never paid their quarterly payment for October to December 2008 and had not received any payment for the whole of last year.
“We are frustrated. We have been faithful and have put in a very good effort at maintaining law and order at the village court level but we have not been rewarded in full,” Aufe said, adding that he had encouraged his team to continue doing that.
“I am afraid if nothing is done now, my team members will stop work and there will be no one there to attend to the complaints from the public.”
He said they received complaints everyday or sometimes twice a day and for judicial system at the village level to function more efficiently, the authorities must recognise and reward village court officials in accordingly.
“I want to know if they are going to pay us our dues,” Aufe said.
“Why is it taking so long to do that if government is allocating funds every year for the village court officers?”