Government Lawyers advising President Michael Sata to ignore Supreme Court advice against the Tribunal are compromised and are setting him up for confrontation with the judiciary and general public, says ZADECO president Langton Sichone.
Mr. Sichone a Law student at Cavendish University said that those lawyers given the responsibility to advise the President were misleading him because they were compromised and fear to lose their jobs and the friendship of those who sponsored them.
“It was only fair for the leadership to heed the advice by the Supreme Court not to go ahead with the tribunal because it would not just end at scandalizing those judges but it will still come around and many people will be affected including Lovemore Chikopa Chirwa the Malawian Judge who was being paid even before the tribunal had started its sittings.
There is already an abuse of authority here. This is a vicious circle being created. Chikopa is not the right person to handle or chair the tribunal because he has been in the country on the government’s pay roll,” said Mr. Sichone.
He said that for now the law suits them because they are in power and found it correct to abuse institutions of governance in the manner they had handled the tribunal. Mr. Sichone said that it was only fair for President Sata to exercise his wisdom and abandon the tribunal and allow the normal process to take place by referring the matter to the Judicial Complaint Authority (JCA) and the Commission,
He said that the Supreme Court ruling had set a dubious and bad precedent which would continue to haunt the judges and those that practice law.
Mr. Sichone said that the lawyers mandated to give legal advice to President Sata should have told him that the action to have Chikopa chair the tribunal would undermine the judiciary.
“To have Lovemore Chikopa Chirwa to chair that tribunal will undermine the judiciary and people will lose the confidence in the justice system of the country. Zambia is a sovereign state and the credibility of the judges in this country will be highly undermined and individual judges handling matters involving those that have connections with state house are at stake,” he said.
Mr. Sichone said that it was an embarrassment to the entire country to hire Judge Chikopa to preside over cases involving Supreme Court Judges when there were many local retired Judges who could have handled the matter.