THE Judiciary of Zambia has refuted reports that former Chief Justice Ernest Sakala was hounded out of office or forced to resign soon after the Patriotic Front (PF) formed Government in 2011.
Acting registrar of the High Court Mathew Zulu has corrected an impression created by the Daily Nation that Justice Sakala was forced out of office, stating that the former Chief Justice decided to go on leave pending his retirement.
In its publication of 25 February, 2015, the Daily Nation published a story under the headline” Mutembo has to pack his bags” in which it quoted former deputy minister of Transport and Communications Alfred Ndhlovu as having said that Mr Nchito should not wait for President Lungu to ask him to step dowm but should resign on his own just like the former Chief Justice Ernest Sakala did when people questioned his office.
In the article, Mr Ndhlovu was also quoted as having said that the former Chief Justice did not wait for the President to remove him when his office was questioned as he had stepped down on his own when people started making noise. Mr Zulu said in a statement yesterday that at no time did Justice Sakala resign from office neither was he hounded out of office.
He said it was not correct to insinuate that Mr Justice Sakala was forced to resign when the truth was that the former Chief Justice went on leave pending his retirement.
He said media houses should be encouraged to verify their facts and sources of information before publication to avoid causing harm and bringing into disrepute individuals, including serving and retired judicial officers who were not in a position to defend themselves..
“The Judicairy of Zambia wishes to refute misleading reports that former Chief Justice Ernest Sakala resigned from office or was hounded from his office. Justice Sakala did not resign nor was he hounded out of office but went on leave pending his retirement. Media institutions are encouraged to verify their facts and sources of information before publication to avoid causing harm to and bringing into disrepute individuals including serving and retired judicial officers who are not in a position to defend themselves,” Mr Zulu said.
He said the Judiciary of Zambia remained open to provide clarification and information to both the media and the general public on any issue relating to the judicial system and administration.