Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Community awareness key in curbing corruption - Kaoma

Community awareness key in curbing corruption - Kaoma
By Mwila Chansa-Ntambi
Tue 15 Nov. 2011, 13:59 CAT

KITWE High Court judge-in-charge Royda Kaoma says community awareness in the operations of the criminal justice system is essential in uprooting corruption both in public institutions and in the criminal justice system.

During an open day organised by the Communication, Cooperation and Coordination Initiative (CCCI) Kitwe chapter at Buchi Catholic Church grounds on Friday, judge Kaoma observed that it was only an enlightened and sensitized community that could ably identify which institutions and officers to approach in criminal matters in order to zero-rate corruption incidences.

CCCI aims at promoting, improving and increasing efficiency and effectiveness in the criminal justice system amongst the five key institutions and stakeholders that include; the judiciary, prisons, the police, the directorate of public prosecutions and the Legal Aid Board.

"Indeed corruption in the public institutions and indeed in the criminal justice system can only be uprooted when the community is aware of the operations of the criminal justice system," she said.

Judge Kaoma who was elated with the government's pronouncements on zero tolerance to corruption also observed that no single institution could work in isolation as far as providing access to justice for all was concerned.

She thanked the European Union (EU) which is supporting the CCCI initiative for its commitment in ensuring that justice is not only accessible for the rich but also the poor and vulnerable groups such as women and children.

Judge Kaoma also urged people not to shun the courts by thinking that the courts were not interested in justice.

"Courts want to be easily accessible so that cases such as defilement, rape and incest could easily be dealt with and justice seen to be done," said judge Kaoma.



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