Stop insulting judges


IT is disgraceful and an insult to Zambians and Parliament for the Law Association of Zambia(LAZ) to allow some of its members to attack and criticize the appointment of Constitutional Court judges by President Edgar Lungu, Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) president Wright Musoma has charged.

He said that the integrity of judges should be defended against malicious attacks by LAZ members who have known interests to protect.

These judges, he said, were being appointed, subject to ratification by Parliament and should be treated with confidence and within the confines of the various committees instead of making a public spectacle intended to scandalise and malign them and the Zambian bench.

He cited  attacks against former Supreme Court Judge Philip Musonda and the sustained attack against High Court Judge Mugeni Mulenga, who were  being considered for appointment to the Constitutional court.

It was unfair and unjustified that Judge Mugeni was being attacked because she handled the case which led to the adoption of President Lungu as head of state.

The gripe against Judge Musonda, he said, was also well known as he had been blamed for the Development Bank of Zambia case.

“It is very sad for somebody who is a member of LAZ to discredit the appointment of Constitutional Court judges by the President. It is an insult to the appointing authority and Parliament, which is the supreme organ of elected representatives of the people,” he said. He said LAZ were only allowed to comment on the appointment through Parliament because they were stakeholders of the process through National Assembly. Mr Musoma has since demanded that LAZ should react to the  public attacks which wee demeaning the Zambian bench by suggesting that Judges were being appointed as a quidi proco and yet  they were qualified and  capable of handling the position they were appointed to. Meanwhile, LAZ president George Chisanga declined to comment on the matter because the association was one of the institutions which Parliament consulted on such appointments.

Mr Chisanga said commenting on the matter outside Parliament would be breaching the oath which he had made with Parliament.

“I cannot comment on this matter because Parliament consults on appointments of judges,” Mr Chisanga said.

Mr. Musona said, it was highly prejudicial to criticise and accuse appointees outside the confines of the c Parliament especially where those responsible were members of LAZ.

“We expect LAZ to take action and inform the nation accordingly” he said.