Mambilima demands judicial autonomy

 

CHIEF Justice Irene Mambilima has said the judiciary should now be given its full financial autonomy so that its decisions and operations can be that of an independent institution.

And the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has expressed worry over the high levels of corruption and elicit financial flows on the African continent

LAZ president George Chisanga  said corruption and elicit financial flaws in Africa had contributed to the continent’s underdevelopment.

He said the association was worried because the continent was losing a lot of revenue through such corrupt activities.

Mr. Chisanga said that in a year, the African continent loses about $200 million through corruption and elicit financial flaws.

He charged that the conference would discuss issues on how they could help Governments in Africa.

 And the Chief Justice said it was a pity that 50 years after the country got its independence, the Judiciary was failing to be independent and to operate autonomously.

She said this during the official opening of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) annual conference taking place at Zambezi Sun Hotel in Livingstone. The conference is being held under the theme: “Independence of the judiciary and regulation of the legal profession in Zambia-a 50 year reflection”.

Justice Mambilima said the scenario of the budget line for the judiciary was similar to that of any Government department when it was not a department but one of the three arms of Government.

She noted that once the Judiciary was left alone, it will be respected and it would gain the confidence it deserves from the public.

The Chief Justice said inadequate funding which the judiciary was subjected to had remained a challenge in the institution’s delivery of justice. Justice Mambilima said the inadequate funding the institution faced had resulted in the operational and financial independence to continue to elude the Judiciary. She said as a result of the current position, the Judiciary was failing to even decide on its own budget.

Justice Mambilima pointed out that the realistic budget which the judiciary presents to the executive was always reduced and given a ceiling within which to fit all its needs.  Earlier, LAZ president George Chisanga expressed concern over the high levels of corruption and elicit financial flows in Africa.

Mr. Chisanga said corruption and elicit financial flows in Africa had contributed to the continent’s underdevelopment.

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