PRESIDENT LUNGU HAS NO HAND ON SELECTING NOMINEES FOR APPOINTMENT AS JUDGES
The Young African Leaders Intiative (YALI) has commended President Lungu for following laid down procedures in the appointment Judges which marks a departure from what from what would happen with past appointments before the Constitution was amended.
While Article 92(2) (e) of the Constitution has vested powers in the President to appoint persons including Judges as are required by the Constitution or any other law, presidential appointments of Judges are not done by the President selectively handpicking nominees.
President Lungu does not singlehandedly pick persons for appointment as Judges as the nominees for appointments as Judges are recommended by the Judicial Service Commission in accordance with Article 140 of the Constitution.
Under the repealed Article 46(6) of 1996 Constitution, the President was not obliged to follow the advice tendered by any other person or authority in the exercise of any functions conferred upon him as he was allowed to rely on his own deliberate judgment.
The current law in Article 140 is that the President appoints Judges on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission and subject to ratification by the National Assembly.
It is thus unfounded for anyone to accuse the President of selecting persons for appointment as Judges of his choice when the recommendations are made by the Judicial Service Commission chaired by former Chief Justice Mathew Ngulube.
We believe that persons who have been appointed and ratified by the National Assembly have carefully been scrutinised by the Judicial Service Commission as the responsibility for their appointment lies with them. We are so far confident that the appointment of Constitutional Court Judge Martin Masaluke has merits in it and we hope the new Judge will exercise his independent mind on the bench.