Parley, judiciary compromised

PARLIAMENT has completely been thrown into disarray under Speaker Patrick Matibini and Zambians have lost confidence because the legislative body has lost its credibility due to interference from the executive, civil rights activist Brebner Changala has charged.

And Mr Changala said the judiciary has been hijacked by a group of individuals with the desire to abuse the institution and that was why it had neglected to perform its constitutional mandate of interpreting the country’s laws.

Mr Changala said the judiciary and Parliament in their current form had failed to inspire confidence among Zambians because the two institutions of good governance had abrogated their constitutional mandate to work independently from the executive.

Mr Changala said both Parliament and the Judiciary had never been as compromised as they were now even under the notorious one-party state of Dr Kenneth Kaunda and UNIP.

He said Parliament had failed to live up to its constitutional obligations of providing serious oversight on the executive because it had become completely polarized by political greed.

Mr Changala told the Daily Nation that Parliament had failed to play its role of serving the people by refusing to tell Zambians the mystery surrounding President Michael Sata’s health and his eventual evacuation to London on a medical retreat. He said the current Parliament had totally detached itself from the electorate and that both Members of Parliament from the ruling party and the opposition had been a letdown in more ways than one.  Mr Changala said Parliament had ratified the appointment of individuals to the judiciary with highly questionable characteristic to head critical judicial positions which had left the judiciary in a politically precarious position.

He said Parliament had been turned into a House of comical debate adding that it was shocking that Vice-President Guy Scott could use the floor of the House to tell jokes on serious national issues.

“I am deeply worried with the state of our institution of governance such as the judiciary and Parliament. These institutions have completely been destroyed because of political greed. Parliament has never been in this kind of polarized state even under the notorious one-party state of Dr Kenneth Kaunda and UNIP,” Mr Changala said.

He said the judiciary had been hijacked by a group of citizens whose agenda was to illicitly get hold of State power and that was the reason why many important constitutional matters were not being addressed. Mr Changala explained that the judiciary was dragging its feet on matters of great importance thereby compromising the country’s governance system.

He said the judiciary was leading the country into a constitutional crisis by deliberately committing omissions on the interpretation of the laws and the general governance of the country.

Mr Changala said the judiciary had become a stumbling block to justice and unless and until Zambians demanded for the best from institution of good governance, Zambia risked being turned into a tyrannical state.

He said it was worrying that Zambians were not being given daily updates on the health of President Sata currently in London for a medical retreat adding that it was the responsibility of Government to ensure that citizens were briefed about how the Head of State was fairing.