Low staff levels, inadequate financial resources hampering justice services

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Low staff levels, inadequate financial resources hampering justice services

Nchelenge February 5 ZANIS—The Police command in Luapula Province says the low staff levels and inadequate financial resources is hampering the delivery of justice services to suspects.

Luapula Province Commissioner of Police Malcolm Mulenga said most of the districts in the province are manned by one magistrate only while Mwense has had no magistrate since 2012.

Mr. Mulenga told Ndola High Court judge Justice Kondolo during the opening of sessions in Mansa on Monday.

Mr. Mulenga said the lack of a magistrate in Mwense and the general inadequate manpower at magistrates’ level in the province is making it difficult to curb crime.

He said the absence of a magistrate in Mwense undermines the desire for the speedy trial of suspects in line with the tenets of human rights to ensure that justice is accorded and prevails.

Commissioner Mulenga observed that most districts in the province are manned by one magistrate a situation he said has often led to the stalling of court cases in an event of sicknesses by the incumbent.

Meanwhile Mr. Mulenga complained to judge Kondolo that court cases were being discontinued because of the lack of funds to transport, feed and accommodate witnesses during high court sittings.

The Police Chief said the cost of transporting, feeding and accommodating the witnesses has remained a challenge to a point where cases are being discontinued.

He observed that witnesses have started shunning attending court sessions as they are forced to use their own resources for accommodation and food as police has no capacity to look after them.

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