Electoral expert McDonald Chipenzi says the Zambian judiciary, especially the newly established Constitutional Court of Zambia, can draw valuable lessons from the South African Constitutional Court’s ruling over President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla case.
In a statement, Mr Chipenzi said the judgement has demonstrated the highest degree of the South African Judiciary’s independence and autonomy from the executive in that country.
He said this is rare in an African set up to have men and women of valour who can agree to preside over a case and make such a classic judgement against a sitting head of state like what the Constitutional Court Judges in South Africa have demonstrated.
Mr Chipenzi said it is good precedence the South African Constitutional Court has set out on the African continent by openly pointing out that President Jacob Zuma violated the constitution which he swore to uphold and protect and should serve as a challenge to other judiciaries and judges on the African continent.
“The Nkandla case judgement is a classic and landmark judgement which any judiciary worth of its salt can emulate,” he said.
“Further, Zambians should also get valuable lessons on how the law in that country has been crafted not to protect sitting presidents and elected leaders but that it has created and promoted an enabling environment for accountability and transparency in the management of national affairs by elected leaders.”
He said unlike Zambian laws which promote insulation of those in leadership while they still hold office and pursue them later after office, the President Zuma case is a clear reference point that presidents can be held responsible for their hideous actions while still serving.
Mr Chipenzi said Zambians are yet to see how the newly created constitutional court of Zambia will dispense justice especially against the powerful and the rich.