BUTTYSON KANDIMBA, Solwezi
NORTH-WESTERN Province permanent secretary Ephraim Mateyo says most legal and justice sector institutions in the country such as police, correctional service and
judiciary need reforms if they are to effectively carry out their mandate.
Mr Mateyo said additional court infrastructure and police posts should be built to reduce on the distance and cost of accessing justice in the country.
He said there is also need for the Legal Aid Board to open offices in all the districts in the province to enable poor Zambians have access to effective legal representation.
Mr Mateyo said this here on Friday during the official opening of the Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission public sittings for Solwezi district.
“We envisage a modern legal and justice sector which is more efficient, affordable, accessible, accountable, fair and responsive in a cost-effective manner at the end of the reform process,” Mr Mateyo said.
He said the exercise is important as it will enable the commission to undertake a comprehensive public inquiry into the state of the legal and justice sector in Zambia and recommend appropriate reforms.
“I am aware that the terms of reference for the commission are broad and will definitely allow for the undertaking of a comprehensive review into the state of the legal and justice sector in Zambia in order to develop strategies and mechanisms to facilitate its transformation and modernisation so that it is better able to meet the current and future needs of the Zambian citizens,” Mr Mateyo said.
And commission acting chairperson George Chisanga said the commission is mandated to inquire into the legal and justice system of the country to come up with recommendations that will allow the legal and justice system to respond to the social and economic needs of the nation.
Mr Chisanga said the commission will also ensure all progressive provisions in the 2016 amended republican Constitution are operationalised in a systematic manner which will translate into the justice system becoming more available, accessible, accountable, affordable and competent.