President Lungu’s revelations and criticism against Judges has not broken any law and must be viewed as a demand for the independence, dignity and effectiveness of the Judiciary, Says The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Governance Advisor Isaac Mwanza.
And YALI says, while, like many other actors, values the independence of the judiciary, it also believes the judiciary is not beyond criticism.
In a media statement released today, Mr Mwanza has revealed that after a careful examination of remarks made by President Lungu in Solwezi on Thursday, November 3, 2017, YALI has found nothing wrong.
“After a careful examination of remarks made by President Lungu, our conclusion is that the President Lung’s revelations and criticism against Judges has not broken any law and must be viewed as a demand for the independence, dignity and effectiveness of the Judiciary as they adjudicate in the 2021 eligibility case in accordance with Article 122 (4),” he said
Meanwhile, YALI has called on President Lungu to urgently appoint the remaining 5 Judges of the Constitutional Court in accordance with Article 127 (c).
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu while in Solwezi on Thursday, November 3, 2017 urged judges to be wary of what transpired in Kenya and avoid experimenting. The statement raised controversy regarding a pending decision of the Constitutional Court on whether he qualifies to stand in 2021 or not.
Mr Mwanza added that President as Head of State and Government, as per Article 91 (1), was within the law to render an opinion and counsel to the Judiciary.
“Article 118 clause 1 of the Zambian Constitution demands for judicial authority to be exercised in a just manner which promote accountability. It is our position therefore that judicial independence is a commodity which must be valued and granted to Judges and judicial officers who are accountable,” he said
“President Lungu’s demands for thoroughness among Judges ought to be viewed as a recognition of challenges on the bench…The President’s call for thoroughness could, in fact, save the Judges from any future embarrassment of being reported to the Judicial Complaints Commission, where some were found inconsistent and inexperienced, in so far, as handling the presidential petition was concerned”
He has urged citizens to welcome the President’s counsel to Judges if the Constitutional Court were accused of having been biased and easily influenced by external forces.