— Samusungwa calls for quick disposal of petitions

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A Lusaka resident has called on the Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission to enact a law that will compel the courts dispose of electoral petitions within twelve months.

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Mr. Geoffrey Samusungwa said this will enable the electorate not to be deprived of representation in the constituency.

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Mr.Samusungwa  has observed that electoral petitions take too long to be cleared by the courts which lead to the case reaching to another election year which he said disadvantages the petitioner.


He cited the Chilanga petition as one such case which has taken about three years before being cleared while the petitioned candidate is already serving.

 


He noted that petition case should be treated as urgent adding that a time frame should be given in order for judges to quickly attend to them.


And Mr. Simusangwa has told the commission that cases involving child marriages should be treated as criminal cases so that both the parents involved are prosecuted.

 


He noted that child marriages were against child rights whether it be girl or boy involved the law must be followed.


Mean while the petitioner has appealed to the commission to consider reforming the laws to allow police officers who act negligently are prosecuted and charged in their individual capacity instead of compelling government to pay for such officer.

 


He noted that some overzealous officers have been abusing their authority which he said has attracted law suits for government.


He also recommended that the Police Public Complaints Authority should be given power to penalize officers who are at fault saying in its current state the authority has no capacity to take action on any of its offices.


The Legal and Justice Sector Reform Commission today conclude its public settings at the civic centre and will tomorrow be in Chawama Township to conduct similar sittings.


Over 25 petitioners have submitted their petitions on various matters related to the judicially and how improvements could be made to this sector.

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