Spending on Judge Chikopa a waste – Chipenzi

Government should seriously reflect on the funds being spent on the embattled Malawian Judge Lovemore Chikopa and direct such monies to public institutions such as Hospitals and Universities which are poorly funded, says the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) executive director MacDonald Chipenzi.

Mr. Chipenzi wondered why Judge Chikopa continued to stay in Zambia even after his tribunal had failed to take off due to the many legal challenges it was facing.

He said that the continued stay of Judge Chikopa, who has been in the country since last year to investigate former Supreme Court Judge Dr. Phillip Musonda and two High Court Judges Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna was robbing Zambians of their meager resources which should be spent on developmental project.

Mr. Chipenzi said that Zambians were angry that government had allowed Judge Chikopa to continue staying in Zambia when his tribunal had been halted countless times because of the legal challenges it was facing.

Judge Chikopa has been in Zambia from the day President Sata suspended Supreme Court Judge Musonda, High Court Judges Kajimanga and Mutuna on allegations of professional misconduct in May 2012 but his tribunal has suffered several legal challenges and has effectively failed to commence formal sittings.

Mr Chipenzi said the issues surrounding Judge Chikopa were not just legal issues but a moral one and that it was morally incorrect for government that the Malawian Judge should continue getting money without earning it.

He said Zambians had raised serious concerns about the Chikopa tribunal because it had become clear that the outcome of the hearing was predetermined adding that it was unlikely that the three Judges would receive a fair hearing.

Mr Chipenzi told the Daily Nation that it was saddening that Judge Chikopa had failed to check his moral conscience to leave the country until such a time when the tribunal would have exhausted all its legal challenges.

He said it was important for government to seriously reflect on the money that was being spent on the Malawian Judge stating that most public institutions like hospitals and universities were poorly funded because resources were being misapplied to areas that were not benefiting the many poor and vulnerable Zambians.

Mr Chipenzi charged that the Patriotic Front (PF) government was the most insensitive regime ever to have governed Zambia and that it was time citizens demanded prudence from those mandated to take care of national interests.

He explained that government had failed to resolve the problems at the Copperbelt University (CBU) yet it had found it moral to continue spending money on an exercise that had become purely academic.

Mr Chipenzi said government was also failing to pay farmers and reduce load shedding among other serious economic and social challenges but that it was quick to direct resources to ventures which were not beneficial to the majority Zambians.

He said it was annoying that government had quickly resolved to close the Copperbelt University but had paid a deaf ear on demands that Judge Chikopa should go back to Malawi.