KALUNGA MUSONDA, Kabwe
THE first-ever anti-gender-based violence (GBV) court in Zambia aimed at improving the quality of justice and give adequate redress has been opened in Kabwe.
Chief Justice Irene Mambilima said the establishment and opening of the court is long overdue in view of many GBV cases that the country is witnessing.
â€œThere has been a marked increase in GBV cases countrywide necessitating the need to put in place proactive measures to improve court procedures and infrastructure to mitigate or eradicate challenges and failures associated with injustices in the justice system when it comes to matters of GBV,â€ Mrs Justice Mambilima said.
Mrs Justice Mambilima was happy that the GBV court located at Kabwe Magistrateâ€™s Court has been established through collective effort by stakeholders in response to the special needs of women and children.
Mrs Justice Mambilima hoped that the establishment of the court will help in reducing high incidences of GBV.
â€œIt is my hope that the establishment of this court with user-friendly procedures will contribute to the speedy disposal of GBV cases and provide a conducive court environment for victims,â€ she said.
She said the creation of a fast track court will lessen the trauma that victims experience when they enter the criminal justice system.
She commended the United Nation Development Programme, the Zambia Law Development Commission, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Gender, Women in Law in Southern Africa for their efforts and support in ensuring that the court has been successfully completed.
She also implored the Ministry of Gender and civil society organisations to undertake awareness campaigns to publicise the protection and remedies available under the GBV Act Number 1 of 2011.
â€œWithout public awareness, the protection and remedies afforded by the Act to victims of GBV will remain meaningless in practice,â€ Justice Mambilima said.
And United Nation resident coordinator Janet Rogan said the court will deal with the various GBV cases committed by both sexes.
â€œIt is important that we all to note the changes in respect of the gender equality and equity made in the amended Constitution,â€ Ms Rogan said.
Ms Rogan said economic development will not accelerate if one half of the nation continues to be abused by the other and continue to think to think it is right and acceptable.
KALUNGA MUSONDA, Kabwe