By Vincent Mwanza
As National Democratic Congress (NDC), we welcome the decision by whistleblowers who have officially written to the judiciary to set up a tribunal to probe lands’ Minister Jean Kapata.
This is in connection with the illegal allocation of land in forest reserve number 27 in Lusaka.
William Harrington and another senior citizen are the imminent persons who have requested the setting up of this tribunal. According to the procedure, Justice Mambilima is the one charged to set up such a tribunal.
We, however, feel Justice Ireen Mambilima is not the right person to set up this tribunal. Justice Mambilima should recuse herself in this matter. We say so because the “Honorable”, Chief Justice is herself a beneficiary of land, in not only Lusaka forest number 27, but also in Shibuyunji forest 42.
In this regard, request Justice Mambilima to delegate the Deputy Chief Justice to handle this matter. Justice Mambilima has a vast interest in this matter, and we feel she can not handle this matter with impartiality.
As NDC, we are taken aback that a person at the helm of the judiciary is cited in the dubious allocation of land. What is worsening is that the Chief Justice has failed to defend herself on how she miraculously benefited from land in two forest reserves.
Justice Mambilima has set a very bad precedent in the judiciary. Mrs. Mambilima has clearly sent a signal to the ranks and files of the judiciary that corruption is a norm in the judicature. We won’t be surprised to hear cases of rampant corruption in the judiciary because the respect that the system gave her Honour has been eroded.
Currently, most citizens have challenges in acquiring land in Lusaka. We are left with many questions as to how and why madam Mambilima has miraculously been allocated two plots in two controversial areas at an alarming speed.
As NDC, we want to remind the chief justice that she heads a very sensitive and important office in the land. But, justice Mambilima will have herself to blame for assertions members of the public will throw on her office, which office she has chosen to throw into odium.
With the foregoing, we wonder if most Zambians still hold this woman in high esteem. She, however, has an opportunity to clear her name in the wake of all these illegalities.
The Author is NDC National Chairperson lands, an opposition party in Zambia led by former Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Chishimba Kambwili.