Poor attendance characterise legal reform sittings

Residents of Garden Township have complained of lack of adequate sensitization on the on-going sittings by the Legal and Justice Sector Reform Commision in Lusaka.

In a snap survey in Garden yesterday some residents expressed ignorance about public sittings for legal and justice sector reform commission in the area.

One of the residents Mr John Zulu, told the Daily Nation that he had no clue about the sitting at Dzithadizeni Trades School.

“I don’t know that there is public sitting. If I knew about it I could have gone to submit something because we, people in the compounds we have a lot of challenges which can be addressed if the constitution has provisions that can favour us,” he said.

Mr Zulu said it was not right for government to ignore sensitizations about the sitting, saying it was in the same way law did not favour them.

“You will find that if someone in the compound has stolen a chicken, the case will move fast and send  the victim to jail within short period unlike when some big fish has plundered public resources.

“ The case can take long and in the end that offender gets acquitted,” he said.

Another resident Mr Marvin Musonda said he only heard one announcement through public address system and he did not even properly understood.

During receiving of submissions yesterday in Garden, Mr John Kabogo said he was moving around Dzithandizeni Trades School when he saw people mounting a banner.

“I don’t know have a plan to come here. I was just walking along the road then I saw a banner by the roadside. That’s how I decided to come here to say something,” said Mr Kabongo.

And another resident Mr Smart Lungu said he was not aware that commissioners of the  legal reforms team were in Garden to receive submissions.

Mr Lungu said the commission should not have relied on the television station to disseminate information about its sittings because other people did not watch television.

“Look at the people who are here (at Dzithadizeni Trades). We are very few and yet there are a lot of people in Garden.  Others are not aware of your presence,” he said.

Due to lack of sufficient sensitization about the commission sittings, some residents who turned up did not know what to do and ended up presenting a catalogue of questions instead of submissions.

This prompted Commission Chairperson Justice Fredrick Chomba to remind them that the commission did not go to Garden to provide answers to questions residents had but to receive submissions.

“Mr Emmanuel Chungu, if you continue giving us questions your time to make submission will finish. We are not here to answer your questions and if you don’t have any submission you are not supposed to be there,” Justice Chomba said.

Immediately after Justice Chomba reminded him of what he was supposed to do, Mr Chungu stood up and left the presentation table without making his submissions.

By lunch hour only seven people made submissions to the commission.