Parliament has rejected President Michael Sata’s nomination of Justice Lombe Chibesakunda as Chief justice.
The Parliamentary Select Committee mandated to scrutinize and recommend ratification of the presidential appointment has since asked the Speaker to inform the President and ask him to submit a new name for possible ratification.
Sources revealed that after the submissions by the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and the Transparent International of Zambia (TIZ) and the Judicial Service Commission it was decided that the motion could not go through because the majority felt it was illegal.
It was felt that the appointment would be a breach to the republican constitution if passed.
In their submissions LAZ said the appointment of Justice Chibesakunda by the president was illegal and unconstitutional because the acting chief justice was past her retirement age.
And the TIZ also said it was not in order for President Sata to appoint Justice Chibesakunda because she was not only past retirement age but was currently serving on second contract contrary to the law.
Only the Judicial Service Commission supported the proposal.
President Sata was reported to have insisted on appointing Justice Chibesakunda as Chief Justice a situation that would have been a total disregard of the objections from the legal fraternity.
The Select Committee comprised Patrick Mucheleka an independent MP for Lubanseshi, Jack Mwimbu Monze Central MP, Situmbeko Musokotwane Liuwa MP, Victoria Kalima Kasenegwa MP, Kabinga Pande for Kasempa, Steven Chungu for Luanshya, Malama Mwimba Mfuwe MP, among others felt that the appointment would be a breach to the republican constitution if passed.