Public outcry grows over police misconduct

The low turnout to the Legal and Justice Sector Reform Commission public sitting in Kitwe has dissapointed commission chairperson Justice Frederick Chomba.

Speaking at Kitwe Civic  Centre yesterday Justice Chomba said he was dissapointed at the poor turnout of people to make submissions to the commission.

He said There is a growing public outcry about the operations of the Zambia Police Service in various public sittings in most parts of the country.

Justice Chomba said the commission had received public outcry about the operations of the police and that the matter would be brought to the attention of Government. He was speaking in Kitwe when he paid a courtesy call on District Commissioner Chanda Kabwe before the commission started receiving submissions from members of the public at the Kitwe Civic Centre.

“The commission is mandated to inquire into the legal and justice system of the country in order to come up with recommendations that will allow the legal and justice system to respond to the changing social and economic needs of the country.

“I must say that during the public sittings which we have conducted in most parts of the country, there has been a public outcry about the operations of the police. This is a matter of concern and it will be brought to the attention of Government,” Justice Chomba said.

And speaking at the official opening of the public sitting at the Kitwe Civic Centre, Justice Chomba said he was disappointed at the low turnout of the Kitwe residents at the public sitting.

“A few moments ago, when we were with the DC Chanda Kabwe, we were told that Kitwe is the second largest city with a big population, but going by the low turnout of the people at today’s sitting, it is like Kitwe is the smallest city with a small population,” Justice Chomba said.

He, however, said the commission would endeavour to fulfil its task of making recommendations to the Government on how best to transform and modernise the legal and justice sector so that it could better serve the current and future needs of Zambian citizens.

Justice Chomba said the Constitution of Zambia, as amended on January 5, 2015, had provided solutions to some of the fundamental challenges faced by the legal and justice sector.

“However, this commission is mandated to ensure that the progressive elements in the Constitution are operationalised in a systematic manner which will translate into making the justice system more available, accessible, accountable, flexible, fair and affordable in a timely, courteous, respectful and competent manner for all citizens.

“The commission’s work, therefore, offers an innovative bottom-up approach built on a premise that citizens are the ultimate beneficiaries of State services and that their opinions as end users of these services should matter,” Mr Justice Chomba said.

In this regard, he said he would like to call upon all well-meaning Zambians to come forward and make petitions or submissions either in written or orally.

And Mr Kabwe said he was happy that the Government of President Edgar Lungu had initiated the legal and justice sector reforms.

He said in a speech read for him by Kitwe district agricultural coordinator (DACO) Raphael Muyaule that Government would ensure that the commission’s mandate was accomplished for the benefit of the people of Zambia.

“Allow me to commend the Government of President Lungu on continuing with the Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission. I am informed that the goal of this programme is to undertake a comprehensive public inquiry into the state of the legal and justice sector in Zambia and recommend appropriate reforms.

“We foresee a modern legal and justice sector which is more efficient, affordable, accessible, accountable, fair and responsive,” Mr Kabwe said.

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