President Edgar Lungu said that he will not rush into ejecting Zambia from being a part of the International Criminal Court but will instead consult with Zambians on what they would like.
Speaking to journalists before his departure to Luapula today, President Lungu said democracy dictates that he consults with stakeholders who in this case are the Zambian people before making decisions.
President Lungu said he believes in widespread consultation with stakeholders as the right path to govern.
He said he would not dictate to Zambians what they should adopt with regard to the country staying or pulling out of the ICC.
The African Union (AU) wants its member states to pull out of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
This is a message to the international community to stop “harassing” Africans, the AU said.
The decision was arrived at in a closed session of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Tuesday.
However, Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Tunisia, Cape Verde, Botswana and Chad want to remain members of the court.
The summit adopted a withdrawal strategy which had been circulated to members beforehand but was overshadowed by the elections of AU Commission leaders.
The document says: “A growing number of African stakeholders have begun to see patterns of only pursuing African cases being reflective of selectivity and inequality”.
Member states also agreed to press for a reformed United Nations Security Council. African countries have no permanent representation in the council. The council can refer cases to the court, yet it is not a UN court.
Meanwhile, Veteran Politician Vernon Mwaanga has said that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has failed to live up to the expectations for which it was set up for.
In an interview with ZNBC News in Lusaka, Dr. Mwaanga said frustrations by some African leaders to pull out of the ICC is understood because of the manner it has discriminated against smaller states, poor nations and African countries. Dr Mwaanga said that the ICC pursues arrest warrants for African leaders with a lot of vigour.
Dr. Mwaanga has however stated that the decision by the African Union to pull out of the ICC is not binding as member countries can still decide to stay on or not. Dr Mwaanga further said that welcomed the planned consultations by President Edgar Lungu on whether Zambia should stay or pull out of the ICC.
And The Opposition Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) has said that Zambia should stay with the International Criminal Court -ICC- as the country seeks to improve its judicial system.
FDD Spokesperson Anthonio Mwanza said that the idea of being within the jurisdiction of the ICC works well when the country has to deal with complicated cases.
Mr. Mwanza ssaid that Zambia like other African countries should strive to build much stronger judicial systems that will satisfy expectations of the masses.
He was speaking in an interview with ZNBC News in Lusaka.