Confidence lost in Zambia’s Judiciary

The revelations of high corruption levels and other criminal activities among some judges and lawyers is just a tip of an iceberg of what was happening in the system, Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) spokesperson Antonio Mwanza has said.

Mr Mwanza said the entire judicial system in the country does not inspire confidence.

He has said there could be no clean judicial system when it lacks inspiration from the top.

“How can you inspire confidence in the judiciary when you have people acting like the current office of the Chief Justice? How do you tackle corruption when you have offices such as the one for the Attorney General in the acting capacity?” asked Mr. Mwanza.

He said it was high time President Michael Sata addressed the problems he had created for himself by allowing offices such as of the Chief Justice to continue in the acting capacity.

“The whole judicial system under the PF does not inspire confidence because people like the Attorney General Musa Mwenye and Madam Lombe Chibesakunda have been holding those offices in an acting capacity,” Mr Mwanza said.

He said there was need for President Sata to swear in the Attorney General and find a substantive Chief Justice rather than having people holding key government positions in an acting capacity.

Mr. Mwanza said there was urged need to clean the entire judicial system, adding that the corruption revelations by acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda in the judiciary was not only worrying but also shocking.

“With regards to the corruption in the judiciary as announced by acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda, it is clear that the judiciary is corrupt. But the revelations are not enough, action should be taken against the corrupt magistrates and lawyers,” he said.

He said criminal lawyers and corrupt judges should be probed, prosecuted and sent to prison to safeguard Zambians from such people.

Mr. Mwanza challenged the Law Association of Zambia to act on the allegations leveled against its members.

“We have heard these stories from top ranking officials and it’s up to LAZ to act now, let LAZ confiscate or cancel the practising licences from criminal lawyers. Let the Chief Justice now report corrupt judges to the ACC in order to be prosecuted rather than just saying things in the manner they have done,” he said.

And Mr. Mwanza has appealed to President Sata to swear in Mr. Mwenye as Attorney General.

“We challenge President Sata to swear in Musa Mwenye. There is too much circus now in the country because of these issues of acting this, acting that. We have acting Chief Justice and now we have acting Attorney General. These are not the reforms the PF should be talking about,” said Mr. Mwanza.