A Kabwe clergyman has called for the modernisation of court attire and transformation of the courts into user friendly institutions in the dispensation of justice.
Bishop Davies Malulu of the New Covenant Church said it was high time the country changed the way its judges dress up in dispensing justice.
He told the Justice Frederick Chomba led Legal and Justice Sector Reform Commission sitting in Kabwe that there was need to abandon the dress code inherited from colonial masters and instead come up with one reflecting the Zambian identity and character.
Bishop Malulu caused laughter in the fairly packed conference room at the provincial administration offices in Kabwe when he said ordinary Zambians were intimidated by the wigs that judges put on in court.
The bishop said he could not understand any justification as to why 50 years after political independence, Zambia should still cling to the colonial dress code legacy.
He said time had come to improve on the way judges dress up for work.
The clergyman has also called for transformation of the legal system in order for the general public to easily relate to it and have a sense of belonging.
Bishop Malulu regretted that certain magistrates, justices and judges behave ‘like small gods’ and abuse power in the dispensation of justice when they continuously adjourn cases without advancing reasons especially that the litigants pray to them as the lords of the courts of law.
He said there should be a way that citizens can question the legal system by making it user friendly.
And 59-year-old Evaristo Mwenya also caused laughter when he petitioned that the language used in court intimidates and confuses ordinary citizens when they go to seek for justice.
Mr. Mwenya charged that the English language used in court was difficult to understand and thus disadvantages ordinary citizens.
He charged that the judicial system in Zambia favours the rich adding that the poor people will continue to fail to access fair justice.
Mr. Mwenya has since called on the court system to appoint legal representation for the poor and disadvantaged people that were unable to afford hiring a lawyer.
He said it was only prudent that the court strives to ensure that there was fairness in the adjudication process.