Politics

Veep Guy Scott Differs with Sata On Judiciary

Zambian Vice-President Guy Scott has allegedly differed with his boss Michael Sata over the ruling party’s daylight interference with the operations of the judiciary.

Scott, a British native, and finance minister Alexander Chikwanda are among the senior party and government officials uncomfortable with the manner in which PF leader Sata has handled issues surrounding the judiciary leading to the abrupt exit of Chief Justice Ernest Sakala and Acting Deputy Justice Dennis Chirwa.

“Guy is a very frank person. He has privately told the President his thoughts about the judiciary and he is not in support of what is happening. Sata is not happy with him but they are still working well because they are good friends,” a senior government source has disclosed to Zambia Reports.

The source says Scott opposed the suspension of the three judges as he wanted the President to let the judiciary thoroughly deal with its issues without much interference from the executive.

External government and party forces, according to the sources, prevailed over Sata to shake up the judiciary to save their business interest.

That is why, according to the source, when Scott was asked by a reporter from the Mail & Guardian about the issues surrounding the judiciary he flatly declined to comment on the matter where he would ordinarily have defended President Sata.

Scott declined to comment on the judicial suspensions of Supreme Court judge Phillip Musonda, High Court’s Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna or on the corruption allegations involving the new director of public prosecutions, Mutembo Nchito, and the claims that Sata is protecting him and others like Post Newspaper owner Fred M’membe.

“If Guy was supporting what is happening, he was not going to hesitate to say it publicly because he is a very frank man,” the source said. “There is a problem in the party and government, no one can run away from that fact.”

PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba and defence minister Godfrey Mwamba are among the senior officials firmly backing Sata on the shielding of political allies like M’membe.

Others like home affairs minister Kennedy Sakeni and his foreign affairs counterpart Given Lubinda are playing double in the looming split.

However, Scott, a long-time Sata ally who helped him to form the PF as a breakaway from the MMD in 2001, is defending his government’s performance on issues he agrees with him as did in an interview with the M&G.

“I think we are making steady progress,” he told the M&G in response to the performance of the economy. “The trouble is that we inherited a very corrupt country and there is a lot to untangle.

“The economy was not in a good state and there is a lot that needs to be done.

“We are restructuring in many areas and investing in agriculture and manufacturing, but these things take time. You cannot deliver instant results in eight months.”

Scott also strongly defended Sata’s widely condemned relationship with Zimbabwean tyrant Robert Mugabe but flatly refused to defend his longtime friend on the interference with the judiciary.

He said: “We have a policy of good neighbourliness and President Mugabe is a neighbour. We cannot castigate him; we have to work with him.

“South Africa also maintains warm relations with Zimbabwe.”

The sources disclose that the PF cracks are growing deeper by the day.

President Sata has since appointed his relative Lombe Chibesakunda as Acting Chief Justice and Florence Mumba as Acting Deputy Chief Justice.

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