Chikopa tribunal, who stands to gain?

Political commentator Brebner Changala has demanded for an explanation from President Michael Sata on whether the constitution of the tribunal is in the interest of the people of Zambia.

Mr. Changala said that the tribunal the people of Zambia were waiting to have constituted was against the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito for the forgery of Justice Denis Chirwa’s judgment.

And a Zambian law lecturer at the University of Pretoria, South Africa Professor Michelo Hansugule observes that the Supreme Court ruling last week to allow a tribunal set up by President Michael Sata to go ahead has effectively weakened the judiciary in the country. Mr. Changala said that the tribunal would only serve the interest of the people close to President Michael Sata and not the people of Zambia.

“I want to know if the tribunal constituted by President Sata is in the best interest of the people of Zambia or it will only serve partisan interest of friends of President Sata. I want to find out what motivated President Sata to constitute the tribunal and who the complainants against the three judges are. Did the judges fall out of favour with President Sata’s friends while executing their judicial duties?” wondered Mr. Changala.

Mr. Changala also wanted to know who the final beneficiary in the tribunal were, adding that the whole exercise would not have any credibility because it was shrouded inserious corruption by corrupt people who were using high level  connections to intimidate the judiciary.

“This to me is total abuse of the office of president and a total disregard of state institutions. It is also intimidating and destroying the judiciary as they aim for a one party state. The question the people of Zambia are asking is that is it the people of Zambia or friends of President Sata finally benefiting from the tribunal?” he said.

He appealed to President Sata to listen to his own conscience and abandon the dangerous act of an undesirable tribunal, “as the Supreme Court unanimously advised not to go ahead with it.

Mr. Changala has since asked Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda and her deputy Florence Mumba to step aside to allow for meaningful reforms.

And Prof Hansungule has said he found the judgment wanting and he would therefore strive to meet the Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda.

He said that looking at what has so far been made available, the majority ruling was helping the executive to weaken the judicial arm of government.

“To give a definite opinion although I have not read the ruling itself, the ruling has successfully weaken the judiciary in the country and I therefore plan to meet with the Acting Chief Justice because the judgment is wanting.

“People must realize now that the majority ruling is helping the executive arm of government to weaken the judicial arm of the same government which is supposed to make independent decisions and I now fully understand why senior members of the PF are celebrating,” said Prof. Hansungule.