Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda has urged Magistrates to avoid corruption and ensure speedy delivery of justice when handling cases.
Addressing Lusaka-based Subordinate and Local Court Magistrates in separate meetings at the Lusaka High Court, today, Justice Chibesakunda said Magistrates were key to the dispensation of justice.
She says issues of corruption, delays in delivery of judgments and non-adherence to guidelines contained in the Magistrates’ Handbook were painting a negative public perception about the judiciary.
Justice Chibesakunda says there is a perception that adjudicators are corrupt but that what is even more disheartening was when some Magistrates actually began to indulge in corrupt practices.
She noted that corruption is very destructive to the effective dispensation of justice, stating that where there is corruption there is no fair administration of justice.
Justice Chibesakunda says her meeting with the Magistrates was intended to be a platform to review the past year and forecast on improving the Magistrates’ performance in 2014.
She encouraged the Magistrates to balance their work to avoid unnecessary adjournments and ensure timely delivery of well-reasoned judgments as “justice delayed was justice denied” and at the same time “justice hurried was justice buried”.