Government says it is saddened by the inability of Zambians to access legal representation in their pursuit of justice.
Copperbelt Province Minister Mwenya Musenge said it is depressing that accessing legal services has become a challenge for the majority poor Zambians and a preserve for the rich.
The Minister was speaking when the Fredrick Choma led Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission paid a courtesy call on him at his office in Ndola today.
Mr Mwenya bemoaned that the country’s legally aid system is failing to provide the necessary legal representation to ordinary Zambians as they seek recourse from the courts of law.
“Our legal aid seems not to be meeting the core responsibility for which it was created. Legal representation has become extremely expensive and only well to do people can manage,” he said.
Mr Mwenya added that failure by stakeholders to create a platform for people to get fair representation will continue disadvantaging poor Zambians.
The Minister also challenged the legal and justice sector reforms commission to address delays in the provision of fair justice to ordinary Zambians by the courts of law in the country.
Mr Musenge said there is need for the commission to seek ways of resolving delays in dispensation of justice and improve delivery of legal services.
The minister wondered why the Zambia Police Service has become debt collectors when it’s contrary to the provisions of the law.
Mr Musenge said there is need for massive sensitization on the provisions of the law so that institutions such as the police do not overstep their boundaries.
The minister called for concerted efforts to clean up the legal system of corruption and ensure that recommendations of the public on legal and justice reforms are implemented.
And speaking earlier, Commission Chairperson Justice Frederick Chomba said the commission has been conducting public hearings with the view to collect submissions on how best to change and improve the legal sector.
Justice Chomba said the commission has resumed public sittings on the Copperbelt province and will collect submissions from people to help modernize the legal and justice sector in order to respond to the economic and social needs of Zambians.
The team is expected to collect submissions in Ndola, Kitwe, Mufurila, and Masaiti districts.