——Government calls for concerted efforts in the fight against crime in Central province.
And Kabwe High Court Judge Elita Mwikisa says crime affects the whole society and so should be everyone’s concern.
Central province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta said the planned holding of ten criminal sessions this year for the province is a clear indication that there are a lot of cases which should be a source of concern.
Mr Mwaliteta said this during the opening of the High Court session in Kabwe.
"This calls for concerted efforts from all stakeholders including civil society and chiefs to address the negative trend," he said.
The Minister said the Judiciary plays a major role in ensuring that there is law and order hence the need for accountability in the discharge of its functions.
Mr Mwaliteta also said he is optimistic that the judiciary reforms being worked on will conform to the aspirations of the Zambian people and instil confidence in the judiciary system.
"Judicial reforms such as the new legislation on civil procedure which is being worked on by the Judiciary will inspire more confidence in the courts as custodians of justice by both citizens and investors," Mwaliteta said.
He said as a matter of urgency, work towards having a comprehensive and consolidated set of rules of procedure that will be readily available to both judges and lawyers will enhance the deliberations of court issues and help speed the disposal of court cases.
And Judge Mwikisa said the delay in hearing and concluding cases sometimes results in accused persons spending significant periods of time in detention before their cases are concluded a trend she said was undesirable and requires quick redress.
She also noted that the issue of delay due to non availability of witnesses has continued to be a challenge in the province.
Judge Mwikisa suggested the provision of special location to lodge the witnesses with the view to help speedy handling of cases.
"There is a critical need to find a central place to lodge witnesses during sessions to overcome this problem," she said.
Judge Mwikisa also revealed that visits to prisons continue highlight the same issues that are not being effectively addressed by the authorities concerned.