President Michael Sata has reportedly ignored the advice of the Supreme Court not to constitute a tribunal to try three Zambian judges.
Tribunal Secretary Chipili Katunasa has said that the Tribunal was ready to sit and would be issuing formal notices of commencement.
Attempts to get confirmation from State House failed. And Judges are shocked by the Supreme Court decision which has given absolute disciplinary authority of the Judiciary to the President. And the Judicial Workers Union Zambia (JAWUZ)has charged that the Judicial Complaints Authority (JCA) has been rendered null and void by the Supreme Court’s decision which they have described as “incomprehensible.”
Jawuz Secretary General Vincent Makondo said that the ruling was at total variance with Government and legal policy which had established the JCA.
Judges interviewed yesterday expressed shock that the Supreme Court had effectively recommended that three Zambian Judges, one of them from the Supreme Court were to be tried by a Malawian Judge.
“This is the worst humiliation that our Judiciary has suffered in a long time.” they said.
However by yesterday Judges at both the Supreme and High Court were shell shocked by the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the President absolute power to discipline judges without using the Judicial Complaints Authority.
Judges interviewed said the decision was political and would undermine the independence of the judiciary in the long run. “We are now vulnerable to executive authority and influence.” Said one judge.
The Judges are particularly angry that the entire Tribunal was triggered by complaints made to President Sata by litigants owing the Development Bank of Zambia K18billion and which matter was still before the Supreme Court.
“This same matter is in the supreme court, what guarantee is there that the Judges who will preside over it will also not be subject to a Tribunal if the litigants lose the case?” one judge asked.