Government has reaffirmed its commitment in strengthening institutions in the criminal justice system in the country.
Speaking during the opening of the criminal justice system session in Lusaka today, Justice Minister Given Lubinda says this can be seen by the establishment of new courts such as the constitutional court, the court of appeal and the construction of new prisons and police stations throughout the country.
Mr. Lubinda says government is aware of the challenges that the judiciary is facing and other institutions in the criminal justice system among them inadequate infrastructure, inadequate transport and overcrowding in prisons.
He however points out that government has undertaken a program to construct and expand prison facilities to alleviate congestion in prisons citing that once the program is completed the welfare of inmates in prisons will greatly improve.
Mr. Lubinda has further encouraged the court to expedite the process of dealing with cases brought before the court.
And High court Judge Nicola Phiri says the introduction of additional criminal cases has greatly reduced the number of cases awaiting to be looked at citing that they expect to continue with the program till the backlog is effectively reduced.
And Justice Phiri has disclosed that in 2016 a total of 446 criminal cases were filed in the Lusaka high court of which 244 were disposed off.
She says a total of 3, 630 civil cases were also filed in the Lusaka high court of which 2, 515 were general civil matters while 610 were commercial cases, 364 divorce petitions, 16 arbitration matters, 2 foreign judgment matters, 53 appeals and 71 election petitions which brings the total of 4, 076 criminal and civil cases being filed in Lusaka high court in 2016 alone.