We have had very little reason to commend the Supreme Court. If anything we have been very critical because a clear impression has been created of external influence, especially in matters political. Like many Zambians we have always felt that the court was biased in favour of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and those institutions and individuals that ardent praise singers of the PF leadership.
Until now we could not prove it.
Finally it can now be proved; thanks to the meticulous work of the Supreme Court, which has exposed the worst form of corruption ever.
We wish to commend Judge Marvin Mwanamwamba for the very clear and succinct judgment in which MMD President was discharged on account of evidence before the court that rendered credence to public perception of bias by the court in favour of the ruling PF.
The Court did not shy away from frowning on the conduct of one of its own who happens to be the Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda who was copied a letter and a legal opinion on a matter that was before the court.
The letter, on court record, by Patriotic Front Secretary General Wynter Kabimba who is also Minister of Justice exhibits unbridled corruption at three levels. We hope the Anti Corruption Commission will not offer one of their stock in trade lame excuses in failing to prosecute this matter.
Firstly and most seriously the letter was addressed to the Acting Chief Justice Ms. Lombe Chibesakunda, resulting in a statement by the Judiciary Public Relations Officer and subsequent action by the Registrar and further action by the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
These are actions which a Tribunal must preside over.
Secondly Mr. Musa Mwenye the Solicitor General rendered an opinion to the Patriotic Front, a party to an action in Court.
Thirdly and most seriously Wynter Kabimba the Minister of Justice took a Government opinion and sent it to the lawyers representing a party to court proceedings, thereby giving his party undue advantage and abusing his position as a Minister.
The Ministerial code of conduct makes reference to pecuniary advantage, but the same could be said about abusing internal information for partisan use.
The code states that a Member shall be considered to have breached the code of conduct
if he knowingly acquires any significant pecuniary advantage, or assists
in the acquisition of pecuniary advantage by another person, by-
(a) improperly using or benefitting from information which is
obtained in the course of his official duties and which is not generally
available to the public;
(b) disclosing any official information to unauthorized persons;
The Anti Corruption Commission regulations are similarly couched, in prohibiting the abuse of internal information for partisan use.
Therefore there should no excuses from the institutions authorized to carry out corruption investigations to look seriously into the matter, which the Supreme Court has ‘gifted’ to the nation.
We are confident that such an action will receive the commendation of the President who has told us time and again that he is allergic to corruption and he will never allow ‘corruption rot’ to fester in his administration.