Respect judiciary hierarchy, Lungu tells Judges

TEN High Court judges were yesterday sworn in with President Edgar Lungu declaring that he was not expecting anything less than the best from the judges as well as unity among them.

President Lungu has also appointed Professor Margaret Munalula Mulele as a Constitutional Court judge.

President Lungu said dispensing justice was a service and it was therefore important for judges to avoid working in isolation and fail to respect the judicial hierarchy under the pretext of being independent.

The President said he had been receiving reports that some judges were acting like ‘‘lone rangers’’ and did not respect or recognise the hierarchy in the judiciary, an act he said should not be allowed.

The 10 High Court judges sworn in yesterday were Dr Winnie Sithole Mwenda, Mrs Irene Inonge Zeko Mbewe, Dancewell Mwape Bowa, Penjani Longwe Lamba, Mercy Kapuka Mukabalo and Edward Luputa Musona.

Others were Justices Martin Musaluke, Mathew Kasonde Chisunka, Egispo Mwansa and Derrick Mulenga.

President Lungu advised the new judges to recognise and respect the office of the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice and to avoid monopolising courts on account of independence.

He said judges were expected to serve the people and that it was his desire to have good judges in the country’s judicial system who would serve Zambians to the best of their abilities.

“Go and serve the people and be good judges who are courteous to the people and members of the bar. Recognise the hierarchy in the judiciary.

‘‘I have had information that some judges are lone rangers but I urge you to co-exist. You should know that there is the Chief Justice at the top. What we get is that some judges claim they are independent but that does not mean that you should not respect and recognise the hierarchy in the judiciary,” President Lungu said.

He revealed that there were some judges who were in the habit of monopolising courtrooms and that even if they were not sitting they would rather have the courts closed while other judges had nowhere to sit.

“I know judges who have been suffering from lethargy and procrastination but that should not be the case. I expect the best and do not let me down and the best will certainly come your way,’’ President Lungu said.

He said the judiciary was part of Government but that there was every need that this arm of Government operated independently.

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