THE public has a negative perception of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies because their operations are below expectation, a petitioner of Senanga has submitted.
Humphrey Kuwabo said the judiciary was inaccessible to people in remote areas of Senanga district because of physical distances, inadequate staff and lack of transport.
Mr Kuwabo, 58, of plot 213 Mwambinyi, told the Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission sitting at the Senanga District Council Chamber that operations of the local courts in the area were compromised by presiding justices who failed to interpret the law effectively because they lacked formal legal qualifications.
He also noted that in Senanga, all criminal cases, irrespective of their seriousness, were 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 Kuwabo.
And 85 year-old Akakulubelwa Muwalike of Namalangu Basic School submitted that corruption involving magistrates in Senanga subordinate courts were high.
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, in particular stock theft, has increased.