The Constitutional Court judges who handled the presidential petition has continued receiving a backlash with the latest condemnation coming in the form of former FODEP Executive Director McDonald Chipenzi who has described their conduct as the greatest embarrassment and an assault to the country’s enviable electoral Justice.
Mr Chipenzi said the judges disrespected and disregarded the judicial principles laid down in Article 118 of the amended constitution which are instructive on how the judiciary must treat the issues of justice in this country.
He said the move by some progressive citizens to lodge a complaint against the judges is justified and that it will promote promoting transparent and accountability in the judiciary and that JCA should deal with the complaint with urgency it deserves.
“The conduct and decision of the Constitutional Court Judges on the presidential petition is one of greatest embarrassment country has suffered in the recent past and further assaulted Zambia’s enviable electoral Justice.
“From the conduct of these judges, it was clear that they disrespected and disregarded the judicial principles laid down in Article 118 of the amended constitution which are instructive on how the judiciary must treat the issues of justice in this country.
“For this reason, some progressive minds and citizens have decided to lodge a complaint against the conduct of these constitutional court judges and the way they managed the entire the presidential petition to the Judicial Complaint Authority, which action is justified and a right step to promoting transparent and accountability in the judiciary,” he said.
He also called on the legislative arm of the government to scrutinize individuals it has ratified to administer justice in the country so that the nation does not suffer the same fate again.
“Ultimately, the buck stops with the National Assembly of Zambia which ratified these judges, who today, have caused so much public ridicule and embarrassment to the judiciary.
The National Assembly must seriously reflect on the behavior of some of the people it has ratified to administer justice in this country so that, in future, due diligence in the scrutinisation process is exercised devoid of partisanship to rid the country off such kind of embarrassment.
“The habit of ratifying people just because the head of state has recommended them for such positions and the use of arrogance of numbers in the National Assembly by sponsoring political parties to ratify such individual, unless stopped, will always cause serious embarrassment to and undermine justice in the country,” he said.
He added “being a final court on constitutional matters, the persons to occupy such positions at the constitutional court and expected to administer and dispense justice must be above partisan and sectional interests in order to dispense justice to all without discrimination or without using procedural technicalities to deny aggrieved parties.”
He has since described the management of the presidential petition by the constitutional court judges was a comedy of the century and which has lowered the integrity of the Judiciary in Zambia.