Lawyers intend to strike and boycott court sessions intermittently if government resubmits the name of Judge Lombe Chibesakunda to be ratified as chief justice by parliament because she does not qualify.
This follows speculation fuelled by President Michael Sata’ remarks on Labour Day that Judge Chibesakunda was not acting in the position insinuating that she was confirmed in the position which she has held following the hounding out of Chief Justice Ernest Sakala.
Lawyers want a new CJ appointed to spearhead reforms.
When asked to comment LAZ President James Banda could neither deny nor confirm the protest by lawyers but confirmed that Judge
Chibesakunda’s appointment would be taking judicial reforms one million miles back.
Mr Banda said Ms Chibesakunda did not qualify and the President had no choice under the law but bring another name to parliament.
A group of lawyers told the Nation that the boycott was the only way to show their disquiet in the prevailing situation in the judiciary where reforms had stagnated and the influence of the “cartel” was too prominent and pronounced thereby distorting the perception of the judiciary. They plan to lobby their colleagues to the cause “our colleagues in Pakistan did the same when General Musharaf fired Judges indiscriminately.” they said. The intended protest also follows reports that the judiciary was intending to fast track the nullification of the opposition seats that would allow the Patriotic Front to obtain a simple majority in parliament to ratify the name.
Some lawyers meeting in Livingstone told the Daily Nation that the decision by some opposition Members of Parliament to resign from their parties was prompted by information that all the seats petitioned in the Supreme Court would be nullified to pave way for the PF to get a simple majority in parliament which would allow ratification.
He said according to the law once parliament rejected the name, the President was compelled to bring in a new name other than the one that was rejected.
Yesterday Solwezi East MP Richard Taima whose case was still pending in the Supreme Court resigned from the opposition MMD and joined the ruling party and a fort night ago Patrick Ngoma for Lwangwa resigned from the former ruling party.
And sources have disclosed that another defection is expected to be on 5th May by Kafulafuta MP James Chishiba.