YALI is saddened by the fact that the Supreme Court bench has given the Zambian people a lukewarm judgment and provided advice instead of a clear judgment based on the fact of law in a matter relating to the setting up a tribunal and judicial review for the three judges who challenged their suspension in the high court.
The Supreme Court was not requested to give advice but to make a decision on vital constitutional issues surrounding the Tribunal and the granting of the Judicial Review. The decision of the Supreme Court has given the Executive greater latitude to meddle in the affairs of the Judges and will lead to a weakened and compromised judiciary.
YALI is alive to the fact that the matter of the public order act is still in our courts of law because the Supreme Court in the matter of Mulundika and seven others Vs the State was also not very clear and fell short of saying that the act must be repealed. It is such judgments that leave a lot of questions unanswered and leave the Zambian people in an awkward position but with a binding precedent that might be used by another leadership in future. One would have expected that the Supreme should have just been clear as it is not a place for moral issues, it a place to interpret the law and provide guidance on the serious constitutional issues that affect the nation.
We have noted with great concern very strange decisions emanating from our judiciary and would like to join the clarion call for effective judicial reforms so that the judiciary can execute its mandate and work without any political interference. We are aware that the Acting Chief Justice has been dragging her feet on efforts to investigate the conduct of Minister of Tourism, Sylvia Masebo despite having been given compelling grounds for the Tribunal to be set up. There is no way we can continue to have an acting Chief Justice at such a crucial moment when we are implementing judicial reforms. We therefore demand that the Acting Chief Justice should be retired as she has already attained retirement age and a suitable replacement floated to parliament for ratification.
By Andrew Ntewewe
Young African Leaders Initiative