A country without morals

Signs were  there  from the very beginning when Wynter Kabimba refused to step down as Minister of Justice until the Tribunal cleared him.

It is normal procedure, in civilized society, for any person whose integrity and character has been questioned to step down until such time as he has been cleared. This did not happen and will never happen under this regime.

That is why it is  intriguing and certainly highly suspicious that the Wynter Kabimba Tribunal has failed to give the petitioners copies of the findings but has given the President and the Speaker copies.

This action leaves very little to speculation. For all intents and purposes the President, the Speaker and Wynter Kabimba come from the same camp.

That is why we share the very serious concerns raised by petitioners who have spoken strongly about the process and subsequent outcome which continues to elude, marginalize and completely sideline them.

The two citizens took it upon themselves to question a national event that was not only well publicized but was indeed subject of a negative comment in the Supreme Court of Zambia.

The whole nation witnessed in great surprise as the Judiciary Public Relations Officer Terry Musonda issued a seemingly bizarre statement over matters that were in court.

The Nation also witnessed the Electoral Commission of Zambia taking measures in line with the Judiciary statement.

A few weeks later Supreme Court Judge Marvin Mwanamwamba speaking on behalf of a panel of Judges frowned at the conduct of the Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba for copying the letter to the Acting Chief Justice, because it conveyed an impression of impartiality on the part of the Supreme Court.

The entire process starting from the Judiciary to the ECZ was driven by the letter from the Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba.

That is why we join the petitioners in asking why the Tribunal failed to accord the nation an opportunity to learn how the ECZ and Judiciary were moved to take administrative actions outside the normal court process.

This failure creates a very troubling impression that the two institutions are not independent and that the Tribunal went out of its way to ensure that evidence showing that a Patriotic Front document could influence the judiciary was not brought to light.

If indeed there was nothing to hide the petitioners should have been allowed to call witnesses who they lined up. These included the Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda, the Judiciary Public Relations Officer Terry Musonda and High Court Registrar Maka Phiri.

In addition the petitioners wanted to call officials from the Electoral Commission of Zambia including the Chairman Judge Ireen Mambilima to explain on what basis they made decisions that seemingly arose from the letter from the Patriotic Front.

The failure to have these issues canvassed leaves a very troubling aftertaste which will last for a long time. Chances are that these matters like many others that are being brushed under the carpet will be resurrected at some very inconvenient opportunity in the future.

There are many issues that will come in future including the constitution of our benches. There are very troubling reports of judicial loading by the appointment of judges sympathetic to the cartel and its cause.

Time will come when these matters will be settled once and for all.

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