Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba has been challenged to explain claims that the Parliamentary Select Committee had no powers to make the final decision over the Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda whose continued stay in the office of Chief Justice has been described as unconstitutional and illegal.
Heritage Party (HP) preside Godfrey Miyanda has demanded to know if the government was planning to by-pass the Parliamentary Select Committee so that the appointment of Justice Chibesakunda could be reverted to Parliament and be subjected to the debate by the whole House.
General Miyanda demanded to know when Mr Kabimba came to know that the Parliamentary Select Committee which had made its recommendations a year ago had no power to make the final decision.
Gen Miyanda wondered who had the final decision on the appointment of the Chief Justice if the government had decided to write off the Select Committee in the process of ratifying the nominated candidate.
The HP leader in his letter dated July 21st 2013, to Mr Kabimba is demanding to know if the President had powers and the final authority to the ratification process in the appointment of constitutional office holders. He disputed insinuations that if the Select Committee found a constitutional or statutory bar, they should subject the nominee to a debate and vote in the House stating that such a vote would be highly irregular because the MPs would be arguing over a constitutional provision.
He wondered why Mr Kabimba had opted to make the statement over the Acting Chief Justice at a time when Parliament was getting into recess. He said his speech had been conveniently timed to coincide with the adjournment of Parliament to avoid MPs from raising immediate questions to debate the Justice Chibesakunda’s continued stay at the helm of the judiciary debacle.
Gen Miyanda wondered what it was that Mr Kabimba did to correct the purported irregularity by the Select Committee in attempting to have the ratification of Justice Chibesakunda reverted to Parliament.
He wondered why the Justice Minister had decided to give a statement to the media instead of making a full Ministerial statement in Parliament to allow MPs ask questions on the matter.
He stated that in the absence of a Ministerial Statement in Parliament, his party was demanding a public statement that would answer all aspects of the controversy surrounding the unconstitutional staying of Justice Chibesakunda in the office of the Chief Justice.