Chief Justice Irene Mambilima has sworn in a five-member team of the Lusaka Province Local Government Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony at the High Court grounds in Lusaka, Wednesday, Justice Mambilima urged members of the Tribunal to work with dedication and ensure that all appeal cases were determined in the fastest possible time.

Those sworn in are Milner Katolo of Milner and Paul Legal Practitioners as president, Muhau Wina as vice president, Dr Peter Nsomb from the Department of Geometric Engineering Chemistry of Zambia as a member, Joseph Makandani Zulu as a member, and Wilmer Nchito as member of the Tribunal.

She urged them to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Urban and Regional Planning Act as they discharge their duties.

“Lusaka Province is experiencing a number of challenges in land development that includes illegal land development; illegal subdivisions of land; illegal change of land use; and the list goes on. The common adage is, ‘justice delayed is justice denied.’ I, therefore, wish to urge you to dedicate yourselves towards the operations of the appeals tribunal and ensure that you speedily hear and determine appeals,” she said.

And Justice Mambilima said she hoped that the decentralization of the Appeals Tribunal would help to quicken the adjudication of planning disputes.

“The decentralization of the appeals tribunals will help to quicken the adjudication of planning disputes. I am informed that under the now-defunct town and country Planning Tribunal, adjudication of appeal cases used to take long because there was only once centralized tribunal. It is my considered view that justice on planning disputes will now be delivered at the local level as quickly as possible,” said Justice Mambilima.