Judiciary won’t be run based on people’s opinions

President Michael Sata receives an affidavit from newly appointed Minister of Justice Sebastian Zulu at the swearing-in ceremony at State House
Minister of Justice Sebastian Zulu at the swearing-in ceremony at State House

JUSTICE Minister Sebastian Zulu has said while constructive criticism of the judiciary is welcome, the media should not insinuate wholesome corruption in the judiciary when it cannot substantiate its claims.

And Information, Broadcasting and Tourism Minister, Given Lubinda has said the Government will not run affairs of the judiciary based on people’s opinions.

Mr Zulu said that the Government had noted with disapproval that some media houses had taken it upon themselves to insinuate that the entire judiciary was corrupt and that they should give reasons behind the acquittal of certain individuals.

He said in a statement yesterday that some media houses had also misled the public that adjudicators acted on instructions from some authorities to decide in a particular way. The minister said it had further been suggested by some media houses that judicial officers could be arrested and prosecuted for what were perceived as wrong judgments.

“The position of the Government is that in terms of the law, no judicial officer can be arrested or prosecuted for delivering what can be perceived as a wrong judgment. “It should be noted that judges do not dialogue with third parties regarding the content or basis of their judgments. The judgments speak for themselves,” he said.

He said the Zambian Government was a signatory to the Commonwealth Bangalore Principles which ensure judicial independence, impartiality, integrity, propriety, equity of all before courts, competence and diligence of judicial officers.

Mr Zulu said the principles alluded to were of critical necessity to constitutional governance and were enshrined in the Zambian Constitution and the Judicial Code of Conduct.

He said it was an undeniable fact that some magistrates had been arrested, prosecuted and convicted for corruption while others had been dealt with administratively and dismissed.

He said in an even that members of the public or other third parties suspected impropriety or misconduct on the part of a judicial officer, they may complain to or present their evidence of such impropriety or misconduct to relevant institutions such as the Judicial Complaints Authority.

Mr Zulu said judicial officers were therefore not immune from criminal sanctions for corruption. “The judiciary is not averse to constructive criticism but it is destructive criticism which is objectionable,” he said. And Mr Lubinda said yesterday that the new Government respected citizens’ freedom of expression.

He said the Patriotic Front administration was eager to listen to various opinions being expressed concerning what needed to be done in sectors such as the judiciary. He, however, said the Government would not act on or respond to every opinion by citizens on any subject.

“We will not react every time someone gives an opinion on anything because we then run the risk of reacting to everything that is expressed,” he said. He said the Government would operate by acting on issues based on thorough analyses of situations.

[Times of Zambia]


  1. “There appear to be elements of this in the appointments Michael has made. Look at the names of the people Michael has nominated to his Cabinet! Over 50 per cent of them are directly or indirectly his personal relatives”
    (Post Editorial Comment—October 4th, 2011)


  2. There appear to be elements of tribalism and nepotism in the appointments Michael has made. Look at the names of the people Michael has nominated to his Cabinet! Over 50 per cent of them are directly or indirectly his personal relatives”
    (Post Editorial Comment—October 4th, 2011)

  3. This seems to be a direct attack on Fred Mmembe, who actually gave those opinions in the Post that Zulu is refering to. Is it the end of the marriage between the Post and the PF?

  4. So there’s some substance between Given’s ears after all! All the empty rhetoric before was just because of being in opposition at that time.. Please Mr. Information Minister encourage Zambians to do a lot of wide reading in order to become more objective in their thinking and analysis of national issues. Reading of Post headlines only and propounding them at length is all most people do.

  5. Okay looks like there is something sensible in this party and that popularism will not run this country but the rule of law. Kudos to the new Justice Minister and the new Minister of Information. Running government is different from running a party and kudos for recognising that and wish you all the best. Best policy statements from this new government so far.

    My the constitution be upheld and may the rule of law prevail

  6. Who needs the judiciary when Sata can’t even wait for a report from his commission of inquiry into the sale of Finance Bank to act.Sata acted on Finance Bank based on his opinions and he’ll do many other dismissals based on his opinions so judiciary be damned.

  7. can someone explain what sort of cross is in the post on pg 7.it looks like a human skull,surely should christ’s cross be that ugly and scaring.what is the reason behind that ugly cross…

  8. Mr Zulu and Mr Lubinda need I remind you that it was your party while in opposition the made such inuendos and caused a wave crest that you rode to your minority victory. You knew exactly what you were doing making wild accusations on not just the judicuary but other public offices without evidence to create an atmosphere of mistrust in the previous government. That was deceptive and part of the umbrella “dont kubeba culture” you preached. I asked some of my PF supporting friends how PF will govern if they encourage so much deceptive and suspicious behaviour in the general public. You now have to correct the corruption of morals that you preached. It was great while u used against others. Well, you made the bed now lie in it!!!!!

  9. These are the very selfsame people who were reported again and again in The Post newspaper to slander the Judiciary. Now they are in power, they are defending. They have lost my respect.

  10. Here it comes, in one corner PF-run government, Times of Zambia and Daily Mail and in the other corner, The Post. Can’t wait.

  11. No 13 & 14 you are spot on, I could not believe my eyes when I saw what the 2 gentlemen were talking about. We should expect more suprises.

  12. Phew! The roller-coaster was bound to come to a full stop, albeit slowly. I was wondering when the flouting of the rule of law was to end. At least there are some elements of reason in PF, after all. What remains to be seen is what their influence is on the presidency.

  13. @Wantashi,the photo is one of those congratulation messages for the President and he is holding a skull like cross, i havent seen it on the paper online, if you have a copy am sure you can see it.The cross is scaring you knw and ugly

  14. Of course the fall was expected at some point but not this soon, what remains to be seen is how deep they are going to stick knives in each other. There’s no way Post was going to stay on PF’s side and still remain in business, this had to happen. PF have a country to run while Mr Mmembe has mouths to feed. DON’T KUBEBA, DON’T KUDABWA.

  15. Chickens have come home to roost. I informed Zambians that these are the same people you know and heard from while in oppossition. Remember Lubinda accused both judiciary and ECZ of incapable to hold fair elections. Next wait for Sata with his tribal cabinet how impossible it will be to criticise or point out a wrong about them. There is countrywide cry of appointments from Northern and Luapula and no private media including the Post can carry any article of this issue. This is pure deception and hypocrisy by pf to Zambians as many more realities will come to pass.

  16. Interesting to note how much calmer comments are when a person finds common ground with those they jeered at 24 hours ago. Perhaps it would be prudent to find a way to absorb information regardless of whether it matches your personal opinion or not with a modicum of calm and critique accordingly. The level of debate here often reeks of emotional bias :)

  17. May these guys advise their excited 90-day president on proper and constitutional conduct. Sata still thinks he is running his personal PF at a compound market somewhere. Wake up man and behave like a statesman.

  18. Sebastian Zulu, my friend, continue with your legal principles and see how long you will last in the PF government.

  19. A man who wants to know what tribe a girl is as he proposes LOVE, that person is the tribalist. In short, a tribalist is a person, who is conscious of a tribe. Can someone provide an alternative list of a balanced cabinet? The party was branded and shunned as a Bemba-kaponya Party, so were did you expect him to get sophisticated non-Kaponya MPs. I am sure a reshuffle is coming soon once he is done with dissolving boards!!

    Do you know why most university graduates meet their life partners in clubs; that is what they can find – especially if they could not get one in college or at church.They get what they associate with.

  20. Where was the PF when the Post was accusing RB of interfering with the Judiciary? In the last few days, the Post has continued to slander RB and the Judiciary. Let us all endeavour to protect these institutions and judges from such opprobrium.

  21. Does Zulu know that he is attaching the boss? His boss freed pipo who still on trail some where PF cadres for beating colleagues mercyless

  22. Wer is MMD Chiefbootlicker, maybe his amongest the people who have been fired??? No Job, no house…no money for Internet….shame

  23. To watchdog is delating comments Pro PF.Ha ha just leaving UPND comments.What a fake media.We know it’s pro UPND based in Monze.

  24. Good afternoon

    A serious, and at the same time refreshing statement to hear from the minister of Justice. Though it is crucial to strike a balance between the general interests of society and the law, it must not be done at the expense of Judicial integrity. It is only through judicial independence that the rule of law can be safeguarded.

  25. I was so “Shocked” to hear that William Banda was a completely Malawian, with no Zambian heritage, but yet tried to cause unrest in our country. but MMD .. What were you thinking. 

  26. @ 6 i agree with you to some extent.The problem with our media is that they just report and do not inform us. By informing us one would expect them to do investigative reporting but unfortunately for our media this is asking too much of them. The result is that people comment on incomplete stories/reports. For example SATA talked about K 4billion payment from ZRA yesterday a journalist worth his/her salt would have followed up on this and it would have made a juice headline if at all the person behind it once occupied State House as it stands we may never hear of this again.

  27. I would like to believe that the Judiciary came under fire for lack of proper legal reasoning in their judgments. Take the registration of the london judgment for instance. The reasons given by a judge who failed to follow his own precedent were he had registered a South African judgment were not valid. The refusal by the Attorney General to appeal also raised dust. If the judiciary act in a transparent manner then no one will attack them.

  28. Zambians have seen and can prove what is being talked about the judiciary. One justice personnel of highest position refused to shake hands with President MC Sata at the funeral church service. It is on record he was partisan. Losing candidates have been sworn in to Office lifting the holy Bible by the same people we talk about. President MC Sata should surely clean all those that have been partisan. Unbelievable and unchristian. Viva PF and President Sata.

  29. kaputula,

    That’s a Satanic symbol, even the Pope uses the same when he is addressing large crowds. It’s got nothing to do with christianity, but everything to do with devil worshipers. Nobody gets the presidency without the devil’s approval. That’s the stark truth. (Revelation 12:12, 1 John 5:19)

  30. It is easy to make statements such as these and we have seen many before now. However, it is shamefully obvious (not a fact) that the judiciary in influenced by the sitting president. If you take Chiluba’s cases for example, all judgements appeared to go against him when Mwanawasa was President. Undoubtedly because Dr Mwanawasa had made it known that corruption was to be rooted out of Zambia, whereas, all Judgements seemed to go in Chiluba’s favour when RB became President. Again because he had made it clear that he was happy to associate himself and protect Chiluba. Now Mr Zulu is suggesting that the Judiciary is independent and will be run that way. It is already to late because we are all too clear that the President will have the last say as he did with the Mongu rioters 

  31. As a matter of fact before the ignorant start to claim that the President can exercise his powers to pardon. These powers only come into force once the judiciary have disposed of a case. Any pardons while people have been committed is plain right interference with the judiciary and the release of Mongu rioters is a perfect example.

  32. The problem with the judiciary is that it is too much into itself oblivious to the fact that the general public is not privy to legal jargon thus information should be given by the media in an easily digestible form and that is in a layman’s language!

  33. Sebastian Zulu was bribed K200,000,000.00 in the late 1990s to destabilize and finish UNIP . Ba shikulu Sata should be careful with this man or else we have anotrher George Kunda in PF Govt.

  34. # 39 ,the president di not pardon any so far,dont confuse PROREGATIVE OF MERCY WTH PARDON.most political activites receive proregative of mercy but convicted people receive pardon.the latter passes the the courts where as the other may not.

  35. Shut up #2 and #3. Did you want Michael to appoint people from the group that pulled out of the coalition? You can only appoint people who stood by you and were voted in under your party and that is not rocket science.

  36. # 1, Keke, It seems like your bitterness is swallowing your brains. Can you mention 3 people in the Sata government that you know for sure are blood relatives to MCS? It seems like you think Guy Scot is a cousin to Sata. No, they not. Look around the government, there is no Mpika people anywhere close to Sata or in government. Probably you wanted Sata to appoint someone from UPND, no way. They ditched and renegaded on the MOU that they agreed with PF, thus rendering them political spoilers and enemies. Sata tried to adhere to the agreement, HH and his crew of under fives refused and assured the nation that they have nothing to do with PF. So, UPND, in essence dribbled themselves. Today as we speak, There could have been a tonne of UPND ministers and VP. Albeit their stupidity.

  37. Zambians, please refer to this web site, HowStuffworks.com/presidential-pardons. com. “President George W. Bush’s decision to commute the prison sentence of vice-presidential aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby has made people wonder how President Bush could simply wave his magic wand — and poof! — Libby no longer has to set foot inside a prison cell. After all, Libby was tried and convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice.

    The answer is simple. Because he can. President Bush, like every president before him, has the unique ability to override the justice system, release anyone he chooses from paying a fine, and return a person to the state of innocence he had before he ever committed a crime.’ Yes HE MCS is within the Zambian law! Get it folk, get it!

  38. In fact if Sata’s son had stood as MP and won, who would you want him to appoint? His son or some UPND wacko who campaigned against and pulled out of the coalition? If HH had won, today we would be hearing only Hamutobolwa, Hamukaindu, Hakazenene, even that foolish ka cheif mwanachingwala would be at State House as special adviser. So, forget it man, Sata is under no obligation to appoint anyone from the opposition, more especially the under five crew in his government. HH with his foolishness if he won would have paid people with meat instead of making changes to the failures of the previous government. So, cry on. We really do not care what HH and his cry babies say about Sata’s government. If HH had won, your people would have stopped other people to visit Victoria Falls.

  39. Ask yourself why tonnes of people left UPND. Even those that were in high positions. Why?

    You guys are asking Sata to set tribunes, tribunes for what? Why don’t you set tribunes to find out why you don’t think? You what tribunes on someone being fired or replaced, what tribune was set when they were being appointed? Why did you ask for tribunes at that time?

  40. Anyway, it’s a matter of time we will see true tested genuine leadership, leadres who can make right decisions even if the people don’t seem to be on yo side.

  41. That stupid loser called HH was on radio exposing his ignorance and hate for Sata, asking HE MCS to follow the law on dropping Kayukwa, why didn’t he point at the laws that forbid the President dropping those that were appointed by a President? If Kayukwa feels he was wrongly terminated, he should go to court for wrongful termination. HH should unfreeze his under five still developing brain. Sata told the nation that there will be sweeping changes, and yes, there they are. Millions of people have been unshackled from the MMD/RB bondage. HH must either like it or he risks falling in a political black hole that has swallowed the likes of Kavindele, Museba, Chiko Bwalya, Kalifungwa, Matutu, Akashambatwa, Patrick Katyoka.

  42. Feelin bitter every day for the next 5 yrs will twist you faces you fellows. You may end up with double strok especially that PF will win again given regional votin at play.

  43. Watchdog what do you say on this, Ha Ha now that its the post that has been attacked i can see the dogs smiling. The post hates corruption but you dogs that watch for corruption like it.Ha, Ha abana bakwa underfive balala

  44. Site moderator what ever and how so ever you are and your underfive just post each and every comment why are so selective

  45. # 42. I have not confused the two, it was reported as such (pardons the Mongu rioters) Besides the President/person to exercise “prerogative of mercy” has to be the one who the actions were directed at ie RB and his Government. The court had already established a case to answer for the rioters and anyone interfering at that stage is interfering with the the independence of the Judiciary. 

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