Zambian Opposition Fear Current Chief Justice Position May Compromise Judiciary

Representatives of the opposition in the Zambian Parliament fear that delaying the confirmation of the Chief Justice may compromise the delivery of justice in the country.

Zambia has had an acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda and deputy Chief Justice since June 2012 after justice Ernest Sakala and justice Dennis Chirwa were forced to resign for refusing to protect President Michael Sata’s allies Fred M’membe and Mutembo Nchito.

On Friday, the opposition led by Kalomo MP (UPND) Request Muntanga demanded that the position of Chief Justice be substantively filled as soon as possible.

This was during debate on the K275 billion proposed budget for the Judiciary.

Muntanga said there was an urgent need for the appointment of a substantive Chief Justice as Justice Chibesakunda has acted for a long time.

He wondered why the PF has not acted swiftly to appoint an office holder for the important constitutional office which is critical to governance.

“There must be a Chief Justice in place so that ordinary people can run to the office for justice,” Muntanga said.

He accused the police of abusing the Public Order Act and feels the presence of a substantive Chief Justice will help in delivering justice suggesting the current status of an acting Chief Justice had compromised the delivery of justice as those holding the position would want to please President Sata so that their names could be forwarded to Parliament for confirmation.

Muntanga said in its current state (without a substantive Chief Justice), the Judiciary is susceptible to interference from the executive.

His MMD counterpart Senga Hill’s Kapembwa Simbao (MMD) said the Judiciary, being the third arm of the government, deserves a lot of attention by allocating it more money than what it has been given.

Simbao, who is also of the view that the position of Chief Justice must be filled immediately, said it is not fair to allocate the Judiciary a smaller amount of money than what the Ministry of Justice has been given.

But Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba claimed there is no interference in the Judiciary by the executive.

Kabimba said the government will introduce judicial reforms which will make justice accessible to all, especially the poor.

“We want a Judiciary that is going to serve Zambians,” said Kabimba.

4 Comments

  1. Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Acting chief justice, pending commssion of inquiries, unknown contitution programme, dissolved boards, pending cabinet decisions. Is this government in sleeping mode or what? Get to work.

  2. The Instigator
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Just the mention of the name kabimba makes me sick to the bones.

    • Zozo
      Posted November 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Same here!!

  3. Posted November 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    The Justice system in Zambia was actually mutilated with the appointment of such key legal saboteurs as Mutembo Nchito,, Mumba Malila, Sebastian Zulu, Musa Mwenye who were entrenced in various departments of the Ministry of Justice. Other spanners in the works of fair jusctice were placed in the National Assembly in the form of a notable PF cadre such as Dr. Patrick Matibini. Various public institutions that operate with the support of legal training were inflitrated at the ACC, Police,and DEC, Wynter Kabimba has just come on to the scene to tighten up the screws in the works.of deception.

    If Acting Chief Justice and her Deputy were professionals and upright in their morals,,they could have declined to accept their appointments based on well known flawed tribal criteria.

    The Govt Spokesman is toothless in the dissermination of govt propaganda..Fred Mmembe has actually strategically taken over the Ministry of Mis-Information through his tabloid, The Post Newspapers. Zambians are indeed very lucky to have escaped the turmoils that swept across West Africa in the immediate past. More thugs are precipitating out of the PF-system. THE WORSE IS YET TO COME!