Malawian Judge Lovemore Chikopa reportedly is being paid K50 million per month, including board and lodging by government.
And Alliance for Good Governance (AGG) has called on government to explain the expenditure and for what services they are paying since the Tribunal has been put on hold, following a High Court judgment.
But when contacted the Minister of Justice Mr. Sebastian Zulu could neither deny nor confirm that Judge Chikopa was being paid.
“These are administrative matters; our role will start when the tribunal starts to sit,” he said.
Alliance chairperson Rev Mwanza described the payment as a big scandal as there was no discernible assignment for which it was being paid.
Rev Mwanza who was speaking on behalf of seven civil society organisations during a media breakfast said the consortium wanted the government to update the general public on the status of the Malawian judge who was hired to lead the Tribunal on the judiciary.
“The government should exercise caution and be prudent in the utilization of public resources because it is being wasteful and extravagant by keeping a judge who has not officially started working on his assignment.
“We would like to know the terms and conditions of engagement for this amount to be paid. Why should government pay someone for idle sitting?
“Why is he here? We want government to be transparent if they claim to be clean than the previous regime but in this case, we don’t see this transparency,” Rev Mwanza said.
Rev Mwanza said as an organisation, they were very concerned about the development and intended to write President Sata, Minister of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Finance for more clarification
“This a great concern to us more especially that such amounts of money were directed at unintended purposes while many Zambians were wallowing in abject poverty,” he said.
The money, he said, could be better in hospitals and other infrastructure that were in great need of resources.
“We also want to know how much government is spending for his upkeep while in Zambia”.
The Alliance retaliated its call for Judge Chikopa to return home. “It was morally right that he returns to his country as he waits for the outcome of proceedings here.”
The AGG chairperson also said that government should realise that it was over doing things and must come to terms that they were in government to serve the people of Zambia.