Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda should emulate her deputy Florence Mumba and retire from the Judiciary to avoid further damage to her hard earned integrity in the legal fraternity, says Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali.
Tayali said it was unfortunate that the acting head of the Judiciary should continue in office despite all the problems surrounding her, including the issue of her advanced age.
Tayali said the announcement of the retirement of Mumba, at 65, should be a moment of reflection for the top most job holder to review her continued stay in office at 68 years.
“Other than the fact she is over 65, Justice Chibesakunda has issues with the Zambian people who still have several questions about her being in that office. We also have a number of cases in which people have questioned the judgment of the Supreme Court which is her office,” Tayali said.
He explained that as civil society, the Zambian Voice expected the recent turn of events to influence her decision to save her personal integrity.
“As Zambian Voice we now question Justice Chibesakunda. Does she really want to hold on and sign another contract? Or maybe it’s now time to step down? We would advise her to retire,” he said
Tayali wondered why the acting Chief Justice had not yet announced her retirement but instead has instead continued to hold on to her position probably waiting to sign another contract.
He said the acting CJ should instead work towards saving what has remained of her career, “because so far, it has been tainted. Integrity is very important for any person in high office such as hers”.
The Judiciary announced last month that Justice Mumba had applied for retirement after reaching the age of 65, and that government had already accepted her decision.
“It baffles us that a person younger and a person who has had no issues with the Zambian people is the first to retire because as far as we are concerned no one has risen against Justice Mumba.
“As Zambian Voice we feel that for the sake of confidence of the judiciary, Justice Chibesakunda should consider stepping down now,” he said.