The Acting chief justice has been asked not to delay setting a date for judicial review in the case involving former President Rupiah Banda in which the state has been petitioned to ascertain whether Parliament was in order to remove his immunity.
Independent Churches of Zambia (ICOZ) overseer Rev Alfred Masupa said it was cardinal that Justice Lombe Chibesakunda considers allocating a date without interference from anyone because the immunity issue was a national issue.
Rev Masupa said the debate to remove the former head of states immunity was on national television and so it would be prudent for the acting chief justice to announce the date as soon as possible.
He said it would in the interest of the people of Zambia if justice Chibesakunda fixed a date for the judicial review in the shortest possible time as it would serve as a lesson to Zambian on how this matter could be tackled.
“The lawyers for President Banda had sought relief from the courts and we feel it is in the interest of the nation if the acting chief justice would set a date for the judicial review as quickly as possible because Zambians want to know if the action that was taken by parliament was in order.
“As citizens of this country we are eager to know whether parliament’s decision to proceed with the motion when the case was before court was in order. And the voting pattern is also something of national interest because this has raised some questions from a cross section of society. We want to learn from that so the acting chief justice must bear in mind that this is a national issue,” Rev Masupa said.
Mr Banda had his immunity removed with a simple majority vote despite petitioning the Attorney General in the High Court that the matter should not go ahead.
The lawyers representing him have since applied to the court for judicial review following the removal of Mr Banda’s immunity.