Judiciary: Conscience of the nation

Yesterday the Church congregated outside the Supreme Court to worship and commemorate a very solemn Christian occasion, Palm Sunday, heralding the eventural conviction of an innocent man because the judicial system failed.  The ceremony was as symbolic as it was grave.

 Like the Biblical story, our very Supreme Court and the judiciary has come under very serious challenge, and if reports of new recruitments are to be believed, the Judiciary will come under even closer public scrutiny and pressure.

Already, serious doubts have been cast over some decisions that appeared more political than legal. These doubts are bound to intensify if indeed some names being mentioned will be included on the bench.

Some names being mentioned are associated with serious misconduct bordering on crime and are not therefore fit to serve in such high judicial office.

Unlike Pontius Pilate, we expect our courts of law to dispense justice with objectivity and impartiality. We do not expect them to wash their hands in deference to the appointing authorities. We expect our Judiciary to serve as the conscience of the nation in providing justice based on integrity wholeness and above all impartiality.

There is no doubt that the Patriotic Front (PF) has opened serious fractures in society. These fissures have created mistrust, disorientation and above all fragmentation of society.

The spate of violence in the political body is symptomatic of a growing malaise in our democratic dispensation which if not properly managed could easily result in generalized breakdown in the rule of law.

Already we have lost lives in circumstances in which the Police appeared to have been partisan. In one death, no suspect has been prosecuted although a case of common intent could have been   established because of the manner in which the death occurred. Conventional wisdom suggests a deliberate ploy because of the affiliation of the people involved.

The fact that the Church could mount the stairs of the Supreme Court is a statement of faith in the institution of justice dispensation. Until now the church is the only institution that still straddles  across social, economic and political differences. It enjoys the respect of citizens. Even when mistakes have been made, the church has been quick to make amends.

That is the standard we expect from the Judiciary. While the church pronounces itself on morality the judiciary must go beyond.

This is very cardinal. The unfolding political situation will demand great impartiality, objectivity and integrity if our country is to remain true to the motto of: one Zambia one nation.

Political differences will invariably be couched into legal and criminal causes that will end before courts of law. In spite of packing of the courts we expect that men and women of goodwill on the bench will be able to differentiate between political maneuvering and real crimes.

Fertilizer Procurement  scandal                                

Why should the government be involved in purchasing fertilizer when this task has been very ably done by the private sector?

The Government has failed to land fertilizer cheaply. If it was a private company it would have closed from mismanagement debt. The only reasonable conclusion that makes sense is that government is getting involved because individuals stand to benefit.

Over the years the private sector has done very well sourcing and distributing fertilizer in good time.  If anything last year’s confusion was caused by government intervention, with the result that supplies arrived very late at huge cost. Loads are still being ferried from Dar to Lusaka for onward distribution.

Unless government stays out of fertilizer distribution          it will be very difficult to manage and control the fertilizer business.  As an in interested party the government will have no moral, legal or indeed ethical authority to question and regulate procurement and pricing.

Please keep out of things the private sector can do well and concentrate on providing an enabling environment that will help the private sector flourish.

Categorized | Editorial

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