MINISTER of Justice Mulambo Haimbe says the new dawn government has done what it can in a limited fiscal space by allowing a 40 percent increment to the judiciary’s budget.

Responding to a concern raised by Malole PF member of parliament Robert Kalimi in Parliament, Wednesday, that court cases in some areas were being held in classrooms and churches, Haimbe said such was caused by the PF government which used money for personal aggrandisement.

“At the end of the day, Madam Speaker, if we are talking about having sat in classrooms and in churches and in all sorts of infrastructure, my answer to that is that we at least under the new dawn government have done what is possible to be done in this current budget by increasing the allocation to [the] Judiciary by 40 percent. The lamentations about sitting in classrooms and so on and so forth are the very same matters that the members on your left, Madam Speaker, have been saying. Let’s not keep talking about the past. That is the past that the honourable member is speaking of. We are coming from a legacy of careless use of funds and lack of prioritisation,” Haimbe said.

“And where you are sitting now and where you complained that there is no infrastructure is a result of the clear failure of our predecessors to construct and maintain facilities in the interest of the people. Instead, monies were used for personal aggrandisement and today the very members on your left want to come and ask us to sort out their problems yesterday, that cannot be done. Let us take a moral position as I said earlier and deal with these matters from a point of realism. The new dawn government has done what it can in the limited space, fiscal space, by allowing an increase of 40 percent on the judiciary’s budget. This will be done year by year progressively in an orderly fashion, not in the manner that things were done in the past. So let us implement and walk together and pray [that] the people of Zambia will never make a similar mistake of voting [for] persons that do not have their interest at heart. I thank you, Madam Speaker.”

Meanwhile, Haimbe said Kapondo local court would be operationalised when funds for the construction of the court building were made available.

“Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that Kapondo local court in Nguma ward of Kalabo Parliamentary Constituency will be operationalised when funds for the construction of the court building are made available. The temporal structure which was initially used by the community and later surrendered to the judiciary to be used as a local court collapsed around 2012 or 2013 and hence the closure of the court to date. The delay in operationalising the Kapondo local court is that there has been no immediate funding towards building the court infrastructure. It is the plan of the new dawn government that the court in Nguma ward in Kalabo Parliamentary Constituency will be included in the 2023 budget as it is not in scope for the current 2022 budget under the judiciary’s plan for the said year,” said Haimbe.