The Legal and Justice Sector Reform Commission should do more sensitisation to ensure that Zambians own the process of reforms in the legal and justice sector.
So far, since the commencement of sittings of the commission on Tuesday last week, we have not seen the enthusiasm that would normally characterize such an undertaking of national importance.
Few Zambians seem to know what the commission is all about and the reasons why it is sitting.
While we have seen some advertisements in the media, we have not heard foot soldiers in the form of campaign van operators at the Zambia News and Information Service sensitisating people on the importance of participating and coming up with legal and justice reforms.
Government should ensure that the Commission sittings are publicized so that the intended objectives are achieved.
Equally, Zambians should not shun the process as the outcome of the programme is meant to benefit them.
This is because it is not in doubt that the Legal and Justice sector in Zambia needs urgent ‘surgery’ which however should be people driven.
A fair legal and justice system is cardinal and is core to the very existence of any governance of a country and Zambia is not an exception.
While other countries have moved with speed in reforming their legal and justice system since attaining self-rule, Zambia cannot be given credit in that area despite the country attaining Independence in 1964.
In Zambia, we have seen a tendency of going round in circles in coming up with proposals to reform laws which inhibit smooth administration of laws and governance regulations.
Perhaps, this is what is creating apathy to interest people to attend the sittings of the commission.
Based on past conduct of Government, some Zambians feel it is a waste time to submit proposals which will not be considered.
But this should not discourage the commissioners as their duty is to draw proposals which are people driven.
Most Zambians are alive to the difficulties they encounter when they want to access legal channels and they have proposals to make to ensure fair process.
This is because it is not uncommon in Zambia to hear how in one way or the other people have been frustrated by the legal or justice system.
Some Zambians, especially the poor, have complained about how expensive the justice system is but cannot participate in its reformation because they do not know the channels to follow to be participants.
This is the reason why we are urging Government and the Commission to do everything in their powers to ensure the undertaking embarked on last week becomes a success.
It would not be in the interest of anyone for tax payers’ money to be used when many people are not aware of the commission and its objectives.