Lower courts have become courts of postponement: Imalwa

03 Dec 2014 13:30pm
SWAKOPMUND, 03 DEC (NAMPA) – Namibian lower courts have become courts of postponement, and the office of the Prosecutor-General is working on putting an end to this.
Prosecutor-General (PG) Martha Imalwa said this on Tuesday on the sidelines of the eighth Annual Prosecutor’s Conference underway in Swakopmund.
She said next year, her office will implement an Integrated Case Management (ICM) system in Windhoek.
The system would allow Imalwa to observe and evaluate the work of all prosecutors from the head office in Windhoek.
“I want to face individual prosecutors and deal with them. I don’t want to play the blame game any longer, where my office is blamed for not passing the prosecution decisions on on time,” she said.
The PG explained that sometimes cases are delayed as it is indicated that a decision is awaited from her office, and yet in some cases she never even received dockets on such cases.
The new system will make it easy for her to retrieve such information and contact the prosecutors dealing with the cases for clarity, and for her to rectify the matter so that justice is implemented speedily.
The PG also said the system will be linked to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and Namibian Police Force (NamPol) to allow prosecutors to get statements and case information fast.
Imalwa is confident that the project will help speed up issues causing delays in the finalisation of cases such as police investigations and the unavailability of magistrates, amongst other things.
“Prosecutors will receive statements online by requesting them from the police, and reminders are then sent out to investigators to finalise investigations. Prosecutors will also receive reminders when the information they requested is available,” she explained.
Imalwa however said before being implemented in Windhoek, she will continue to monitor how the system works in countries which have already implemented it such as China and Dubai.
The project will later be rolled out to the rest of the lower courts in Namibia.
One of the objectives of the Annual Prosecutor’s Conference is to sensitise public prosecutors on how to effectively deal with issues of bail and gender-based violence (GBV).
The five-day conference commenced on Monday under the theme ‘Be the change, make a difference’.
A total of 112 public prosecutors from all over Namibia are attending it.
Imalwa said the event is also aimed at capacitating public prosecutors - especially those who just joined the profession - on how to deal with the issues of prosecution.