A University lecturer Boyd Mwanabayeke has submitted that it is unlawful for Justice Lombe Chibesakunda to continue acting as Chief Justice even after she had been rejected by the Parliamentary select committee and the law.
Mr Mwanabayeke said it was illegal for Justice Chibesakunda to act in perpetuity arguing that there was no position in the law of Acting Chief Justice.
“We don’t have the position of acting Chief Justice. We have Chief Justice. I have worked in public service for 24 years and acting is temporal and if you act for number of months a substantive officer is appointed to that position. But we are stuck with an acting Chief Justice and I don’t know how we expect a fair justice in such circumstances,” he said.
Mr Mwanabayeke sad Zambia could not have a judicial system which was independent and accountable to citizens if it did not have an independent Chief Justice properly and legally appointed.
He said the Constitution had vested a lot of powers in the President who was interfering in the appointment of judicial officers.
“That is interference of the executive in the other arm of the government. We talk of separation of powers in Zambia when in practice it is not there,” he said.
Mr Mwanabayeke said the interference by the executive arm of government was overwhelming and that judges could not be appointed by the President and that such powers should be expunged from the Constitution.
He said even if judges were appointed by the President and ratified by Parliament, it was simply meant to deceive the people.
Mr Mwanabayeke said the appointment of judges by the President did not give them security of tenure especially those on contract.
He recommended that all Judges on the bench should be appointed by the Judicial Service Commission even if it the commission was appointed the President.
One of the commissioners Ernest Beele said the problem of Public Order Act was not about knocking it off, but that the people using it should be responsible.
And Mr Mwanabayeke has submitted that the Public Order Act should be abolished because it was being used to curtail the right to freedom of association and expression and brutalize Zambians and opposition political party leaders.
And Mr Boyd Mwanabayeke, who lectures history at the newly created Chalimbana University in Chongwe, has submitted that Zambia was stuck with the acting Chief Juctice Lombe Chisebakunda a situation which had raised a lot of concern among Zambians.
He said it was shocking to see people being brutalized by police officers even after notifying police to gather.Mr Mwanabayeke said this when he made his submission to the Legal and Justice Sector Reform Commission chaired by Justice Chomba in Chongwe yesterday.
“That law should be repealed from the statutes of Zambia. It is one law being used to brutalize Zambians, especially with regard to the freedom of association and assembly. People would apply for permission to assemble and the police would say they don’t have enough police officers to police the gathering. But when the citizens go ahead or maybe after a court ruling that they can go ahead, immediately the police are orgainsed to beat up the people. The police who were not there to police people’s gathering are found in large numbers,” he said Mr Mwanabayeke said he was disappointed with the conduct of Inspector General of Stella Libongani when Patriotic Front (PF) cadres sealed off the football pitch in Kabwata when UPND was scheduled to have its rally.