—–Members of the public have continued mounting pressure on the judiciary to introduce cameras in courts and institutions that deal with law enforcement in the country in order to ensure transparency in their discharge of their duties.
The debate as to whether cameras should be installed in courts to film proceedings or not has been popping up in almost all the townships the Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission has held public sittings in Lusaka.
Members of the public have suggested that judges and law enforcement agencies such as the police, Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) officers, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Prisons Service officers were breaking laws with impunity because no one monitors their operations.
Others have suggested that cameras in courts and police stations will help members of the public to understand court procedure which would help them once they appear in court to either defend themselves or to testify against the accused.
Today the topic of introducing cameras in the courts of law came up during the commission sitting in Chilenje where a resident of Libala, Brian Kuwema, submitted that the commission should consider introducing CCTVs in courts if corruption and all sorts of injustices by the judges are to be addressed.
Mr Kuwema stated that apart from judges, police officers, DEC officers and officers at the Prisons Service violate human rights everyday as they are not monitored by anyone.
He explained that at both the police and in prisons, inmates’ human rights are violated as they are beaten by officers which should not be the case.
He observed that the camera would also serve as sensitization to the public who would get to know the procedure in both courts and police.
He said the gadgets can be installed and controlled by the institution to avoid interference.
And Mr Kuwema submitted that for the judiciary to be independent, the Chief Justice should not be appointed by the President but an independent board which should be interviewing people who qualify for the job.
Meanwhile Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) Executive Director, Lee Habasonda, observed that the introduction of cameras in courts would interfere with security matters despite the idea being a measure to enhance transparency in courts.
Mr Habasonda, however, wondered how the cameras would work at police stations especially if they are operated by the same officers as they would be turning them off if they want to commit some illegal activities to avoid being spotted.
He noted that introducing cameras in courts, prisons and police was a good idea as it would expose illegal activities in law enforcement institutions.