Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Judges can only be probed through JCC and no other way

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The Judges at the ceremony
The Judges at the ceremony

Green Party President Peter Sinkamba says an investigation of judges’ competence and gross misconduct is a constitutional issue which can only be done through means stipulated in the Constitution of Zambia. He has charged that any other means to probe judges is unconstitutional and therefore illegal.

Responding to a press query on the call by some NGOs for Government to constitute a commission of inquiry to investigate judges who had their judgments questioned by the public, Mr. Sinkamba said the constitution provides for such an investigation. He said the institution delegated to do so is the Judicial Complaints Commission and the procedure for doing so is prescribed through the Judicial Code of Conduct Act.

“The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It provides that judges should be probed through JCC. It is therefore unconstitutional and thereby illegal to come up with another commission of inquiry to investigate the judges besides through the means provided for in the constitution. Not only that. It also does not make logic to come up with a commission when there is already a commission,” Mr. Sinkamba charged.

He also said coming up with another commission would be a waste of meager public resources. He advised persons with complaints against judges to submit such complaints to the Judicial Complaints Commission and not merely complain to the media.

“Coming up with another commission would not only be a waste of public resources but also illogical logic. Let those who have complaints against the judges file their complaints to the appropriate institution delegated by the constitution to deal with such matters,” he said.

He added that is people are dissatisfied with the JCC outcomes, only then can make proposals to parliament to make amendments to the Constitution to change the mode of such probes.

“If the JCC fails to deal with reported cases satisfactorily, only then can the nation consider reviewing the constitution through parliament to come up with another way of dealing with complaints against the judges,” he said.

“And until the constitution is amended to provide for another way of dealing with the judges complaint, the existing arrangement with continue as the only means by which complaints against judges will be dealt with,” he added.

He charged that as a constitutional democracy, Zambians must always strive to deal with all matters confronting the nation in the manner provided for in the constitution.

“We should avoid unconstitutional and illegal short-cuts to deal with constitutional matters. Let us all protect and defend the constitution. We should abhor repugnant act and ideas that border on short-circuiting the constitutional provisions,” he said.

27 COMMENTS

    • If a dissatisfied member of the public has evidence of misconduct by any judge, they can help bring about the outcome they seek, that is, removal of the erring judge or judges by presenting such evidence before a competent tribunal. This is fair in my view. You can insult and denounce the judges all day long and in the loudest voice you can muster but it will change nothing if no evidence is laid before a competent tribunal. The outcome you seek will not be achieved. Equally, judges have no right to intimidate anyone because justice cannot be served by that either.

    • Unfortunately, the Judges have protection of the appointing authority. The same appointing authority appoints the Judiciary Commission. That is the paradox of the Zambian Constitution. It gives all powers to one man; compromising checks and balances.

    • The Judicial Service Commission
      5. (1) The Judicial Service Commission consists of—
      (a) the Chairperson, appointed by the President and who is
      a person who holds or qualifies to hold high judicial office
      or has held high judicial office;
      (b) a judge nominated by the Chief Justice;
      (c) the Attorney-General, with the Solicitor-General as the
      alternate;
      (d) the Permanent Secretary responsible for public service
      management;
      (e) a magistrate nominated by the Chief Justice;
      (f) a representative of the Law Association of Zambia
      nominated by that Association and appointed by the
      President;
      (g) the Dean of a Law School of a public higher education
      institution, nominated by the Minister responsible for
      justice; and
      (h) one member appointed by the President.

    • I will repeat it again once more and for the second time to make it twice., ….

      Sinkamba swallow your pride and join pf. We will adopt you as pf vice presidential candidate in 2021 and president in 2026. This is the only route for you to get to state house. Stop politics of under5s who thinks its only them who can bring about first class development. Politics of insulting the head of state is long gone.

    • Some cases from the Zambian justice system. About 11 years ago Sidney Chileshe was sentenced to what was seen as too light a sentence for the crime committed;cultivating dagga at his Makeni farm. A magistrates court found him guilty but imposed a light sentence. The High Court judge-in-charge called for the case file and increased the sentence after a public outcry. Late Wilford Funjika ex-commandant of ZNS also was sentenced to a light sentence and there was a public outcry. The High Court responded the same way. Former president Chiluba was acquitted by the magistrates court, there was a public outcry but the High Court was nowhere to be seen. At issue here is how to rate a judiciary that has behaved this way.

    • It there for all to see that EL has destroyed all arms of government and now he is the alfer and omega, Only foo;ls can not see this, Everything and everyone now revolves around EL. Zambia is dead and it will take a long time to bring it back to normality.

  1. That’s why I miss the former President Mr. Sata. If the institution is questionable, call independent outsiders to come and clean up the mess. Where is Judge Chikopo? Has he gone back to Malawi?

    • That Chikopa tribunal was a sham influenced by people who had a ruling against them. It was used by Mmembe and Nchito to get back at judges they hated after they lost the ruling for the money they defrauded DBZ.

  2. We cried for the new constitution, it was enacted and we are still crying?? The old constitution gave the president power to appoint and fire judges, a practice the NGOs, the Nchitos, the Mmembes and tge cartel used to full effect to intimidate judges and ravage the judiciary. Chagwa is the first who can’t pick or fire the judges. This has given the judiciary more independence and less susceptibility to manipulation by these NGOs and other hyenas.

    • With reference above…

      @ Now Trending

      “..Unfortunately, the Judges have protection of the appointing authority. The same appointing authority appoints the Judiciary Commission. That is the paradox of the Zambian Constitution. It gives all powers to one man; compromising checks and balances…”

    • It’s a balanced appointing system. This committee is the one that picks the judges, the judge has to be ratified by parliament before he is appointed. Then the president had no powers to fire this judge.

  3. A judge is not above the law. It’s not all judges that are corrupt. Only those who are implicated should go through investigations. In fact they should be suspended with a half salary until investigations are complicated. They compromised their authority by the means of their conduct. They deserve investigations.

  4. I only have on question over the accusations agaist the judges. Is that piece of hand written note the only evidence against the judges? If it is then it is very weak evidence as anyone could have written it.

  5. Mr. Sinkamba,
    Can you please clarify one important issue.
    Which Art. of the Constitution gives protection to the Judges from CRIMINAL prosecution?
    Last time I checked this site, Justices been accused to be CORRUPT and corruption is a well defined CRIMINAL offence.
    Therefore, as much as I do not care a dam about your effort to gain few pieces of silver from Endemically Corrupt Leader of Plunderers Federation, it pains me your level of incompetent superficiality and ignorance.

  6. #6 just asking, please make sure that you understand what president Sinkamba is saying before you just ask. Just to help you ask correctly, if a judge murdered his wife for example, he will be arrested for the criminal offence and face murder charges like any other criminal.

  7. Samsung Lungu: Blanket condemnation isn’t helpful. I cannot accept the argument that all judges are corrupt. Humans just aren’t like that. The same variability you see in height, gender, temper, weight, and what-have-you is present in they way people think. That is just the way it is.

  8. @#6 & #7: What President Sinkamba is a probe for removal from office for gross misconduct and incompetence. According to Article 266, gross misconduct means (a) behaviour which brings a public office into disrepute, ridicule or contempt; (b) behaviour that is prejudicial or inimical to the economy or the security of the State; (c) an act of corruption; or (d) using or lending the prestige of an office to advance the private interests of that person, members of that person’s family or another person. This means even for corruption, first report to JCC which shall investigate the allegations and if a prima facie case is established, then recommend for the removal and prosecution of the offending judge by ACC. As for murder, according to Article 266, it is not gross misconduct. So, JCC has…

    • Continued: So JCC has no power to probe murder under the guise of gross misconduct. That now become the responsibility of the Police

  9. This Dagga man Chikamba is a real pr.i.k and a pain! He has run out of ideas and seriously looking for a job through this postings!
    The public have got NO confidence in his JCC which is toothless and very corrupt also. Recently, someone reported corrupt judge Sunday Nkonde to JCC and after investigations, the JCC made recommendations to the president for Sunday Nkonde to be suspended and for a Tribunal to be sent up to probe him.
    Up now nothing has happened because nobody respects the JCC not even the judges themselves! This is why the CSOs have called for another commission to be set up because the JCC is compromised.
    Mr. Peter Chikamba, please wake up from Silamba, I expected a politician like you to have been aware of this case instead of singing JCC, JCCC, etc as if they have all…

    • Chilyata: Let’s be sober and not like Sharon the troll. The JCC did its work in Judge Sunday Nkonde’s case. The judge obtained a High Court stay in Kitwe from a judge who has since died, Judge Isaac Chali. Even judges need a working health care system and have no immunity to illness, the same way they would also be affected if there is state failure as their colleagues in Sierra Leone found out. A working health care system cannot be delivered by a corrupt government. Debate what Peter Sinkamba has suggested and it is sensible from where I stand.

  10. I think lyakolokako ibange panono. You have made sense on this one. Don’t smoke weed even when you make sense Peter.

  11. Walandako ifya mano apa pene. Please, stop smoking weed whenever you have issues because sometimes you make a lot of sense. Ibange fye unasheko mwana wesu.

  12. corruption and misconduct are two different issues, if you suspect a judge is corrupt you report to the police and acc. The Jcc has no mandate to investigate corruption allegation, JCC deals with misconduct during trial.

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