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Source: Times of Zambia
PUBLIC prosecutors should handle cases of abuse of woman and children diligently so that they are able to secure convictions against perpetrators.

Zambia Association of Women Judges (ZAWJ) president, Irene Mambilima said prosecutors should work towards curbing the rising cases of abuse of children and women in the country by ensuring that perpetrators of crimes are convicted.

Ms Justice Mambilima regretted that abuse of vulnerable groups had reached alarming levels.

The training which has drawn public prosecutors from across the country is being hosted by ZAWJ, IAWJ under JJAAZ under the jurisprudence of equality programme (JEP).

She said this yesterday when she officially opened a two -day workshop on 'Justice, Jurisprudence, Access and Accountability in Zambia (JJAAZ)' for public prosecutors at Ndozo Lodge in Lusaka.

She said the burden of rectifying the vice was solely on the judiciary and other stakeholders.

In a speech read on her behalf by ZAWJ vice-president Florence Mumba, Ms Justice Mambilima said it was the duty of all Zambians to repair the moral decay that the country was witnessing.

"Zambia is our country and we should all endeavour to make it a safe haven for our children and also for future generations," she said.

Ms Justice Mambilima said prosecutors should perform their duties diligently and with excellence.

She said society had become increasingly litigious which demanded that prosecutors should be adequately equipped to handle the volume of various forms of litigation that had become the order of the day in the courts.

It was important, she said, for prosecutors to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills on how best to handle cases as society looked up to them to protect abused people through winning of such cases.

Ms Justice Mambilima said it was of utmost importance that prosecutors continually updated their knowledge on legal issues that came before the courts as the law was dynamic.

JJAAZ chairperson Jane Kabuka said the training had come at the better time when the country was rocked with screaming headlines of gender-based violence (GBV) which seriously needed the attention of prosecutors.

Ms Justice Kabuka, who is Lusaka High Court Judge, urged prosecutors to equip themselves with best skills and knowledge of how to handle GBV cases.

She said the association had realised that something had gone wrong in society and wanted to restore sanity.Ms Justice Kabuka said there was need for prosecutors to find out why sometimes even when they had overwhelming evidence against perpetrators, they lose cases.

She urged them to be objective and share best experiences among themselves.

International Association Women Judges (IAWJ) Human Rights Educator Anne Goldstein urged the participants to put to practice the knowledge and skills they would benefit in order to handle cases effectively.

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