A LUSAKA High Court judge has called for national dialogue to tackle the increasing cases of sexual offences.
Mr Justice Chalwe Mchenga said the 15-year maximum sentence introduced by the Penal Code Amendment Act number 15 of 2005 had not helped to reduce sexual offence.
He said the current maximum jail sentence appeared not to have any deterrent effect as evidenced by the increasing number of people being arrested, prosecuted and convicted for sexual offences.
“Since it is now apparent that the lengthy sentences that Act number 15 of 2005 introduced have not had the desired effect, isn’t it time for us to have a relook on how we deal with sexual offences and sexual offenders in Zambia?” he said.
He said during the ceremonial opening for the Lusaka High Court criminal sessions yesterday that the current methods of dealing with sexual offences was not yielding the desired results as more offenders were being brought to face justice.
Mr Justice Mchenga said there was need for dialogue with politicians, traditional rulers, church leaders, lawyers, medical practitioners, women and child rights activists to look into the matter and find lasting solutions to the challenge.
On concerns of delays in conclusion of cases, Mr Justice Mchenga said the Judiciary had embarked on various reforms and introduced a number of measures aimed at accelerating the disposal of criminal cases.
He said the Judiciary had adopted a system which allowed the criminal sessions’ cause-list to include trials, criminal appeals and cases