Public perceive judiciary, law enforcement agencies negatively – petitioners

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—–A petitioner of Senanga has submitted that the public has a negative perception of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies because their operations are below expectation.

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Humphrey Auwabo said the judiciary was inaccessible to people in remote areas of Senanga district because of physical distances, inadequate staff and lack of transport.

Mr Auwabo, 58, of plot 213 Mwambinyi, told the Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission sitting at the Senanga District Council Chamber yesterdy that operations of the local courts in the area are further affected by presiding justices who fail to interpret the law effectively because they lack formal legal qualifications.

He also noted that in Senanga, all criminal cases, irrespective of their seriousness, are commenced in the subordinate court thereby congesting the courts.

"The government must roll-out local courts to come as close to the people as possible to improve access to justice in rural areas", submitted Mr Auwabo.

And 85 year-old Akakulubelwa Muwalike of Namalangu Basic School submitted that corruption levels involving magistrates in Senanga subordinate courts were high.

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Another petitioner, 27-year-old Robby Nyambe bemoaned the lack of development in Western province.

Mr Nyambe proposed that government must come-up with deliberate legislation to ensure equal distribution of development countrywide irrespective of perceived political affiliations of the people.

"Fifty years after independence Shangombo and Western Province as a whole are always referred to as under-developed because development is determined by manifestoes of parties or office bearers at a particular time", said Mr Nyambe.

Another petitioner, 37-year-old Clive Simwanza, submitted that the Zambia Police should improve their presence in rural areas of Senanga in order to provide the much-needed service to the people because crime levels, in particular of stock theft, have increased.

The Commission will on Friday receive submissions from members of the public in Kaoma district before proceeding to Sesheke.

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