Legal Aid Board Director Anderson Ngulube stated that his organization has done enough to provide legal services to the poor in the country.
Mr Ngulube was reacting to Copperbelt Province Minister Mwenya Musenge’s recent comments that the organization has failed to provide the necessary legal representation to the majority of poor Zambians.
Speaking to ZANIS in a telephone interview in Lusaka today, Mr. Ngulube said that despite having inadequate staffing levels, his organization has performed well in ensuring that the poor get a fair share in legal representation in the country.
Mr. Ngulube disclosed that the Legal Aid has a total of 41 lawyers and 16 assistants who have been tasked to carry out various legal assignments in the country.
He added that the demand for legal services is overwhelming and has outnumbered the supply of personnel because many Zambians are now seeking legal aid services.
Mr Ngulube revealed that in a bid to bridge the gap, his organization is in the process of recruiting more lawyers from the current 41 to 86 lawyers as soon as the institution receives funding from the treasury.
The Legal Aid Board Director said that citizens unable to afford legal services are free to seek legal aid from his organisation and are required to pay K20 consultation fee, K150 for a criminal case and K160 for civil cases respectively.
But when asked on why criminal cases are cheaper than civil cases, Mr. Ngulube said civil cases demand an investment of time to prepare hence the variation in the charges.
Last week Copperbelt Province Minister Mwenya Musenge said that legal aid had failed to meet the core responsibility for which it was created.