The judiciary should not allow itself to be used by government in power to avoid being rendered useless in its service delivery, says UPND deputy national secretary Kachunga Simusamba.
Mr Simusamba said the judiciary, the legislature and the executive were public institutions and were therefore subject to public scrutiny in the manner they conducted their business.
He said the judiciary will render itself useless if it accepted to be used by the government in power in order to please the appointing authority.
Mr Simusamba said UPND would not be stopped from asking Justice Chibesakunda to step aside and that threats to deter Zambians from demanding what was right for them will not work because his party was representing the interests of the citizens
The opposition leader said no amount of intimidation would bar UPND from fighting for judicial reforms and independence of the judiciary.
“I would like to challenge courts operations director Ms Maka Phiri to tell us if the judiciary is a secret society whose activities should not be scrutinised. As UPND we want to argue that judicial reforms include the scrutinising of the people spearheading the judiciary.
“If Zambians are debating judicial reforms they can’t debate the reforms leaving out the persons involved in the system such as the Chief Justice. And if we find that these persons have refused to act professionally, we will continue to comment against professional impropriety. We as UPND volunteer to be cited for contempt proceedings because we want sanity in the judiciary,” said Simusamba.
Last week Ms Phiri said that the judiciary would not hesitate to cite persons that were attacking individual judges for contempt, in direct reference to the acting Chief Justice Chibesakunda.
Recently there has been growing concerns over the prolonged stay of Justice Chibesakunda in an acting capacity for the chief justice office after Parliament rejected her candidature for the office.