By Francis Maingaila
(08-04-18) – Minister of Justice Given Lubinda highlighted the successes recorded by the Zambian government through his ministry in it’s quest to bring service deliveries close to the people.
Lubinda told journalists at the PF Interactive Forum held at Chrisma Hotel on Sunday that in the 2016 manifesto, the PF promised the people of Zambia to provide the legal services close to the people.
According to Lubinda, the PF government has a vision not only to decentralize the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) but also the Legal board to all districts to enable the people access justice in time and when it is needed.
“The government is in the process of decentralization of the NPA beyond 64 districts to all districts across to hear cases in places where crimes exist”
He added that the decentralisation legal service will enable the people access justice in their area on time.
He also disclosed that the government has also incorporated the prosecutors from various government agents into the NPA and has recruited about 21 states advocates to replace those that left the system.
Lubinda also disclosed that the process of refining the constitution and the creation of the Political party Bill is progressing well and soon the document will be submitted to key stockholders for verification after the refined copy has been gazetted.
“The government has facilitated the refining of the constitutional reforms, including political party bill and the Public Order Act.”
Lubinda hopes that the completion of the refining of the constitution removes the ambiguities and lacunas which lead Zambia to near experience a political stand off after the 2016 general and presidential election.
Lubinda points out some of the lacunas in the current constitution which he believes are a source of conflicts to the nation as the 14 days upon which the presidential petition is to be heard.
He said the clause which provides the 14 days does not give the actual interpretation of the 14 days to state whether it includes the working days or includes the weekends.
Further, Lubinda said the constitution does not state whether or not the exchange of documents are included in the 14 days upon which the presidential petition is to be heard.
He further disclosed that there is confusion that needs to be clarified in the establishment of commission in the land administered and the role of the ministry lands.
“The commission which promotes gender equality is another contentious issues that need to be clarified in so far as enforcement of gender to balance is concerned.
Furthermore Lubinda stated the Correctional Service Act bill which will replace the Prisons Act is ready and will be enacted by the end of the year.
“The enactment of the access to information law is on course.”
He added that this law will also provide a mechanism to every citizens to gather information from any government institutions and agencies.
Meanwhile Lubinda clarified that although the impeachment motion before parliament as provided by the constitution which grants MPs supported by 1/3 to move a motion along with appropriate grounds was better placed, the speaker of national Assembly was studying its admissibility and inadmissibility before accepting it.
He said the motion was not heard because the Speaker of National Assembly has the right to study and ascertain whether the motion is admissible in Parliament.
“In assessing whether the matter brought before parliament is admissible, the speaker will be looking at whether or not the grounds before parliament are not active in court, or borders on the matter that has been settled by Parliament cannot be brought before parliament.”
“If the motion does not meet the admissibility rule, it will be thrown out with the contempt it deserve,” he added
Whatever the case, Lubinda explained the PF is ready to defeat the impeachment motion in the first sitting.
He also denied the PF MPs are available for sale to support the impeachment motion because what is in for them is more than what they will get from the bidders
Additionally, Lubinda said the government is working on State Party Report, including the economic and social right, racial discrimination, and peoples rights progress reports.