Threats by the judiciary to against Zambians calling for the acting chief justice to step aside are misplaced and uninformed, say a political activist Nason Msoni.
And opposition Zambia Democratic Conference (ZADECO) says attempts by the Supreme Court to muzzle Zambians from speaking out was an affront to democracy.
Mr Msoni said it was within the parameters of justice for members of the public to demand true justice from an institution that they funded as tax payers and that it would be a serious failing for the public to ignore what plainly constituted a stumbling block towards accessing justice in a true sense.
“The current setup in the judiciary and the entire environment is not conducive for dispensing true justice to appellants seeking justice and therefore members of the public are entitled to raise the alarm where their interests towards justice are seriously threatened.
“It is prudent for the institution to instead look inwards and address the source of the problem than to resort to empty threats on members of the public. We still think that the individual or individuals who no longer command public confidence should as a matter of urgency step-aside to allow the institution a freehand to start genuine judicial reforms,” Msoni Said.
He said that while he agreed with the assertion that individual judges could not respond to various issues that have been raised against them but those whose names are mentioned clearly had a duty and responsibility to exercise self censorship and consider options available.
And ZADECO president Langton Sichone said that the behaviour by the Supreme Court made Zambians feel bloated with anger by the happenings in the country especially the judiciary.
Mr Sichone said the warning by acting Registrar and Director of court operations Ms Maka Phiri was misplaced and defeats freedom of expression.
He said this was meant to make people feel jittery and afraid of the state and that the very institution that was supported to protect them was being used to muzzle Zambians from expressing their views.
The opposition leader said this decision by the court would dent Zambians image in the international community.
“I thought we moved the bar high in democracy when we were able to change government in a democratic dispensation. Judges may not protect themselves when attacked by citizens but the judiciary should not let issues go beyond proportion.
“It is clearly that some people in the judiciary do not want changes to be effected but we believe that these changes will be effective in the delivery of justice. We want to tell Ms Phiri not to go ahead with that decision because it will just annoy people. he said.
Mr Sichone observed that what was happening in the judiciary, police and politically was not good for the country.
He said his party supported the constitution and Justice Chibesakunda does not qualify to be in office.
He said the courts could succeed in suing everyone but not shut up every body because they are now behaving as though some other animals were more equal than others.
He warned that it was dangerous for the nation if some laws are being buried because certain people want to remain in power forever and advised that dialogue was the best as opposed to intimidation by abusing authority in the Supreme Court.