THE credibility and legitimacy of President Michael Sata’s tribunal to investigate Supreme Court Judge Phillip Musonda, High Court Judges Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna for alleged misconduct has been fractured and dented by the continued stay of the Malawian Judge Lovemore Chikopa imported to preside over the said tribunal, the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has charged.
FODEP executive director MacDonald Chipenzi has said people have lost confidence in the Judge Chikopa led tribunal because there were fears that Malawian Judge would not be objective as he has shown that he has an interest in the cases of three Zambian Judges by his continued stay in the country.
Mr. Chipenzi has reiterated the many calls and demands that Judge Chikopa should consider returning to his country and wait for his tribunal to commence business.
Mr. Chipenzi has said Judge Chikopa had any form of conscious; he should go back to to his country and save his integrity.
Mr. Chipenzi said in an interview that the more Judge Chikopa continued to stay in Zambia, the more the people were wondering what his real interests were because the Malawian Judge was only getting the money for doing nothing.
Mr. Chipenzi has questioned government’s motive for keeping the Malawian Judge for almost a years without doing anything at the expense of the many needed services in sectors like health, education and youth unemployment.
He explained that government was being extravagant by keeping and paying Judge Chikopa for doing for close to one year.
President Sata in May last year suspended Supreme Court Judge Phillip Musonda, High Court Judges Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna on allegations that the trio interfered with a case involving Post Newspapers, Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) and JNC holding limited and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
“Judge Lovemore Chikopa must go back to his country and he must use his conscious to determine why he has continued to live in Zambia at the expense of the many Zambians. Why has it become difficult for Judge Chikopa to go back to his country and wait for our courts to settle the matter regarding this tribunal? The credibility and legitimacy of President Sata’s tribunal has been fractured by the continued stay in the country of Judge Chikopa. People have lost confidence in the tribunal because they strongly believe that the Malawian Judge is serving some interest for his friends,” Mr. Chipenzi said.
Mr. Chipenzi said a lot of money was being wasted for keeping Judge Chikopa in the country and has advised government against being adamant on sending the Malawian Judge back to his country.
Mr. Chipenzi said: “For the sake confidence in the tribunal, there is need for Judge Chikopa to go back to his home. Government is wasting a lot of money and this only shows how extravagant the people who are keeping him are.”
The FODEP executive director has appealed to the judiciary to conclude the case to determine whether the tribunal should go ahead or the suspension of the three judges was by law illegal.
Mr. Chipenzi has further stated that the judicial reforms would remain a pipe dream if the constitution making process would not be concluded in good time.
He said judicial reforms would be difficult to achieve if government was dragging the constitution making process.
He said the judicial reforms government was propagating for were either political or cosmetic meant to suit those who were in government.
“You cannot have judicial reforms when the constitution has dragged from being enacted. With the current constitution, judicial reforms will be a dream and all reforms that will be done under this constitution will be political and cosmetic,” Mr. Chipenzi said.