President Michael Sata has been asked to consider appointing Supreme Court Judge Ireen Mambilima as Chief Justice because her position is already ratified by Parliament.
Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) president Andrew Ntewewe said the President should avoid another ratification process which would be a waste of time as there was already an able and qualified person for the position.
Mr. Ntewewe said the current judicial reforms should include credible people at the helm of activities, as they aim to improve the credence of the system, which government could support.
“Judges should be appointed on the basis of merit, which is on the basis of professionalism in the Judiciary and this would encourage an effective reform process” Mr. Ntewewe said.
He advised against the selection of those with ‘friendly relations’ with the appointing authority in the hope of promoting their personal agendas.
“Why should we go through the ratification processes when we already have someone who meets the criteria and sits on the bench of Supreme Court Judges,” Mr. Ntewewe asked.
He explained that the current situation of acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda and as well as the deputy Judge Florence Mumba had raised questions as the two judges did not meet immediate qualification to the positions.
“It seems they want to take advantage of appointing people who will help them attain their hidden agendas, they seem to be taking advantage of new appointments by putting them in influential positions,” he said.
He said the appointments should not derail the judicial reform process and government in supporting the reforms should “not just be talking, they should also be seen to be doing.”
There have been numerous calls for President Sata to consider Judge Mambilima for the position of Chief Justice in order to encourage effective judicial reforms which will help build on the credibility of the system.