What has happened in the appointment of the Chief Justice is most unfortunate.
This is a matter that would have been resolved behind closed doors and in complete confidentiality in a forum involving all parties.
The fact that this matter came to the public domain in a negative way is indicative of the failure by Government to establish consensus.
More importantly this event is a symptom of a deep lying problem and malaise which must be resolved as a matter of urgency to ensure that all systems of governance work in harmony.
There is not question that Justice Lombe Chibesakunda is a loved and respected Judge who has inspired many apart from enjoying respect across the board. In a way it was not fair to draw her into the current legal politics where a “rogue” group has been accused of holding the executive captive.
Sadly the executive has made no effort to extricate itself from the group; instead everything possible has been done to given succor and comfort. The huge debts they owe to public institutions are held in abeyance in the apparent process of being written off or indeed being forgiven in dubious circumstances which will have to be explained at some point in time. Indeed the Central Bank as the supervising authority will also be required to explain how such huge amounts as US$4million obtained by fraudulent misrepresentation could be forgiven.
It is all a matter of time.
The continued association of Government to the elements that disregard legality will continue to bring grief to the Government and more certainly create and promote a sense that the Government is corrupt. After all it is the duty of every Government to uphold the rule of law.
Advice to Mr. Sakeni
It has never been the duty of a spokesman to deny everything negative. Sometimes there is honour and merit in admitting that a critic may be more knowledgeable.
Such was the case with Mr. Dante Saunders who was more knowledgeable than the Minister.
Mr. Saunders knew for a fact that the President had nominated Justice Lombe Chibesakunda had been nominated as substantive Chief Justice and that the name had been forwarded to Parliament where it was being discussed by a select committee.
The Minister did not know thereby displaying a disagreeable level of lack of knowledge.
To suggested that Mr Saunders was hollow, ignorant and therefore destructive because President Sata had made no such appointment was factually incorrect.
Before the knee jerk reaction, the most professional approach would have been to ask the President directly, instead of issuing a public denial which has proved to be contradictory to the President’s wishes.
Instead of mitigating the situation the Minister exacerbated the situation by appearing to hide the uncomfortable truth that the President was conducting himself in an unconstitutional manner.
Indeed sometimes is more Honourable to agree with critics and seek to limit damage by consulting with the principle for alternative direction that be seen to defend the indefensible..
The attack on Mr. Dante Saunders was most unfair, unjustified and wrong and an apology is in order. We hope Mr. Sakeni will be Honourable enough to apologize to Mr. Saunders.