Opinion

Citizen’s View: Zambia’s Judicial System Is A Circus – Mwanza

The concept of justice being delivered from the open court can best be summarised by what one writer wrote:

“Justice must not only be seen to be done but has to be seen to be believed.”

Zambia’s Judicial system is a circus when it comes to justice especially when the judiciary becomes under intense pressure in trying these political cases.

The Judiciary has no excuse for limiting public knowledge on how the Hakainde Hichilema case will be tried, or how the DPP may be left with no option but to enter a Nolle, or for the public to know how the court may have arrived at its decisions on whether to acquit him or convict him for treason over a road altercation in Mongu.

If Chief Justice Mambilima does not want the media or counsel to record verbatim of the proceedings of the court so they can accurately report, who is the Judiciary going to blame if inaccurate reports are reported by media houses? Will you cite the media for contempt when the Court itself is promoting inaccurate reporting?

You even prevent advocates from recording court proceedings, if they wish to, for purposes of reviewing and preparing their case on whether HH has a case to answer or no case to answer. Does the Court want to doctor some verbatim on record which it intends to be the only source for advocates to review their notes on proceedings?

What is it that the Judiciary is seeking to hide from the public on the treason trial of Hakainde Hichilema which has attracted so much public attention? How will the public get to believe the State made their case and HH was wrong and committed treason by barring people from freely attending?

What madam Mambilima and her Judiciary should have done was to actually tell citizens not to travel to Court as the trial would be televised on various local and international media who may want to televise it. The Judiciary should have, in fact, asked ZNBC to publicly cover proceedings so that people don’t have the pressure of going to court and congest the courtroom.

The orders by the Registrar, which no doubt are sanctioned by Chief Justice as Head of the Judiciary, have nothing to deal with controlling the unruly cadres but has more to do with censorship or acts meant to cite some media houses for contempt who may report wrongly because the Judiciary wanted them to do so. They are meant to hide something associated with this trial or evidence and will produce greater injustice, irrespective of any outcome.

If it is their intention to keep the treason trial in secret, they should have opted to have the trial conducted in Chambers or in-camera. Even those who have committed crimes against humanity, we have seen footages of them being tried in truly open courts where necessary. There is something the Zambian Judiciary is hiding in the dispensation of justice and this must make Chief Justice Mambilima to resign.

Some acts and inefficiencies in the Judiciary are some of the many reasons why people charged with unbailable offences stay in prison for a year or more without trial. The judiciary has greatly contributed to delays in concluding trial. When all is done, the accused have later been found innocent. The Judiciary in Zambia is not the true protector of our people’s liberties but an accomplice in the violation of human rights.

People had expected a lot from madam Irene Mambilima when she was appointed to take charge of the judiciary but, for the head of the judiciary to allow such orders to remain in force, is quiet a let down to say the least. Could it be that late President Michael Chilufya Sata was so intelligent enough that when Ernest Sakala had been sent into early retirement, he did not want the ratified Deputy Chief Justice to take over the control of the judiciary and was best placed as head of the Electoral Commission? The man may have really known something that some of us who wanted Irene Mambilima to over the reins of the Judiciary did not know.

Cry My Beloved Country

Isaac Mwanza

7 Comments

  1. lil dizzo

    Yea well articulated sir….this country lacks competent pipo in running cases like these and we don’t know if they truly did law.hope this is not a syndicate like that for ecz who wre busy making themselves real mathemations in changing figures in last years polls

  2. Chisenga

    BUT WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS SUSPECTED CRIMINAL THAT HIS CASE SHOULD BE TELEVISED. BA ISAAC MWANZA. THE JUDICIARY DOES NOT DRAW ITS CREDIBILITY BY PROSECUTING THIS CRIMINAL SUSPECT. HE SHOULD BE TREATED THE WAY THE REST OF THE CRIMINAL SUSPECTS ARE TREATED. THE PROSECUTORS MAY CHOOSE TO DISCONTINUE THE CASE IF THEY WANT. SO THE SUSPECT SHOULD JUST WAIT. HE SHOULD ALSO LEARN TO BEHAVE ON THE ROAD.

    • Sj

      Late President M.C. Sata may not have forgotten how he lost elections even when it was abundantly clear that the ball was in his coat.
      So he could’ve chosen to tread with care when it came to placement of his Judicial system and those to assist in governance of the country, the judicial being nothing to toil around with.
      There is a lot of consultancy behind closed doors that we as citizens may not know, but only speculate when we see a move taken, such as a head of state announcing his changes at Cabinet level.

    • The maker

      Ka Chisenga, you have got teeth in your anus.

  3. Kenkenene

    The case has been withdrawn. What a circus!

  4. joe

    Changwa he, has destroy everything in our country, becz of corrupt mind.

  5. Pleito

    You say, ‘article well articulated.’ The reason is that you want one dangerous criminal out of jail and yet he is fine were he is placed. If the President had died coz of his action on that day, I wait hear your article blind people call well articulated.

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