Zambian gov't says judicial reforms bearing fruit

2017-09-14 15:55:40 GMT2017-09-14 23:55:40(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

LUSAKA, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government said on Thursday that reforms currently taking place to improve the judicial system have already started bearing fruit such as the acceleration of court cases.

Minister of Justice Given Lubinda said the judicial reforms being undertaken have resulted in courts improving in disposing of cases after years of backlog of cases due to a slow process.

According to him, the courts in country had 57 percent pending cases as at the end of 2015 but this has been reduced to 35 percent at the end of last year.

"I want to thank the courts for the job and our intention is to reduce this to zero although this may not be possible because there are many factors that lead to slow process in handling court cases," he said on a live interview on HOT FM radio.

Other reasons causing delays in court cases include the reluctance by some accused persons to have their matters taken to court as well as the poor record-keeping system in the judiciary, according to Lubinda.

The judiciary in Zambia still keeps court cases on hard copies, a move that results in the disappearance and misplacement of some files, he said.

The judiciary had 289,000 court cases in its files as of 2015.

He, however, said the judiciary will soon be computerized so that court records are kept both in hard copy and on computer servers.

He added that the files of court cases will be kept at both the judiciary as well as the Ministry of Justice and that later all prisons will be linked to the system.

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