The Police command in Luapula Province says the low staff levels and inadequate financial resources are hampering the delivery of justice services to suspects.
Luapula Province Commissioner of Police Malcolm Mulenga said most of the districts in the province were manned by one magistrate while Mwense had no magistrate since 2012.
Mr. Mulenga told Ndola High Court judge Justice Kondolo during the opening of sessions in Mansa that lack of a magistrate in Mwense and the inadequate manpower at magistrates’ level in the province was making it difficult to curb crime.
Mr Mulenga said the absence of a magistrate in Mwense undermined the desire for the speedy trial of suspects in line with the tenets of human rights to ensure that justice was accorded and prevailed.
Commissioner Mulenga observed that most districts in the province were manned by one magistrate, a situation he said had often led to the stalling of court cases in an event of illnesses by the incumbent.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mulenga complained to Judge Kondolo that court cases were being discontinued because of lack of funds to transport, feed and accommodate witnesses during High Court sittings.
The police chief said the cost of transporting, feeding and accommodating the witnesses had remained a challenge to a point where cases were being discontinued.
He observed that witnesses had started shunning attending court sessions as they were forced to use their own resources for accommodation and food as police had no capacity to look after them.