GOVERNMENT is working towards creating juvenile courts, Minister of Home Affairs Ngosa Simbyakula has said.
Speaking at the official opening of a national symposium on ‘strengthening child justice systems,’ Dr Simbyakula appealed to stakeholders to help Government in finding out how other countries have managed to establish juvenile courts.
“We are tired of talking, we want to walk the talk. President Sata taught us something and that is to take action and not just to talk,” he said.
Dr Simbyakula also said Government will construct more reformatory schools.
He said children will be free to testify in a court where they do not feel intimidated.
And Advocacy for Child Justice board chairperson Violet Namukwai said children who come into conflict with the law are vulnerable because most of them are from poor families.
She also said that child offenders do not know the consequences of their actions hence the need for them to be treated differently from adult offenders.
“Children who come into conflict with the law should not be treated like criminals, but as child offenders,” Ms Namukwai said.
She said prisons are not conducive for child offenders because they are vulnerable to sexual and physical abuse.
And Dr Simbyakula has warned delegates to the Patriotic Front (PF) general conference not to engage in acts of violence as the police will deal with them.
In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Dr Simbyakula said police officers have been deployed at the conference venue to maintain peace and order.
“We have tightened security at Mulungushi Rock of Authority to ensure that peace is maintained during and after the election of the PF president,” he said.
Zambia Daily Mail