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Friday, January 22, 2021

Judiciary urged to distance themselves from politics – Judge

General News Judiciary urged to distance themselves from politics - Judge

Kitwe High Court Judge Abba Patel, State Counsel(SC), says the judiciary must be distanced from political activities as the country heads towards the 2021 general elections.

Speaking after the ceremonial opening of the criminal sessions at the Kitwe High Court today, Justice Patel said the Judiciary is a non-partisan institution and should be distanced from political activities.

“The judiciary is a non-partisan institution which is independent of government and is only subject to the Constitution of the country,” she said.

Justice Patel said that as the country heads towards campaigns, there is need to promote a culture of respect for each other’s opinions in line with good governance tenets.

And Justice Patel is concerned with the apparent increase in domestic cases including Gender Based Violence (GBV) against women and girls.

She said while there is a general reduction in the number of both civil and criminal cases before the courts, domestic disputes and GBV cases such as defilement and rape seem to be on the upswing.

“The rising cases of crime against women and young girls is a source of concern in a Christian nation. We need to protect the girl child from her brother, father, uncle and even grandfather,” Justice Patel said.

She said community leaders, church elders and local leaders must all join hands in helping to overcome the rising cases of crimes against women.

She said fighting crime should not be left to the judiciary and the police alone.

And Justice Patel said there is a need for timely law reforms that will give judges and magistrates discretionary sentencing powers other than depending on mandatory minimum sentences only.

She said in view of the current COVID-19 situation, appropriate reforms are needed in the law so that judges can mete out appropriate sentences for particular cases to avoid overcrowding correctional facilities.

And Kitwe High Court judge-in-charge Charles Chanda said judiciary workers are frontliners in the COVID-19 pandemic because justice has to be served regardless of the circumstances.

He said well-wishers and local leaders in Kitwe should therefore consider the judiciary whenever they are giving out chemicals and protective equipment necessary for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

He also said the high court in Kitwe faces challenges in its supervisory role of courts in far flung areas such as North Western Province because of perennial transport challenges.

Meanwhile, Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) representative Elijah Banda S.C has called for the increased use of technology in the administration of justice.

Mr Banda said platforms such as zoom and Skype should be used especially in the disposal of interlocutory applications.

He also urged lawyers to embrace the use of alternative dispute resolutions to avoid crowding courts and also help in clearing backlogs.

Kitwe Mayor Christopher Kang’ombe who graced the event promised to pass on the concerns and observations raised by the judges to the necessary offices.

13 COMMENTS

  1. There are 2 judiciary system, the Zambian one and Lusaka judiciary. Given Lubinda don’t even know there are white and Indian judges in Zambian courts, because they don’t work in Lusaka.

  2. It’s a banality which should never be said to members of the Judiciary because if they hv to be reminded about something so basic, then they’re not good enough to be on the bench.

  3. They need to travel to Kenya or Malawi for a fast track course in resolving electoral disputes. I personally recommend Malawi because the Army will also appreciate how to defend democracy in critical momemts.

  4. The advice to the Judiciary is aptly and timely. During this year’s Elections in Zambia, Concourt in particular needs to show Professionalism and Objectivity. Retiring CJ Maraga of Kenya had this to say to fellow Judges: Poor decisions by the Judges can lead to CHAOS in Country. He warned Judges that “they can never be forgiven if they tend to take sides when Ruling on Political matters”. CJ Maraga further warned Judges that “if u waver and do the wrong thing and this Country descends into Chaos; God will never forgive you. Do the Right thing “. Concourt cannot dispute that ECL is ineligible for 2021 Elections becoz he has been elected and sworn in twice and cannot be elected and sworn in for the Third Time. We don’t want Civil War in Zambia arising from Electoral Disputes. The…

  5. Zambian Concourt needs to redeem itself like Concourt in Malawi, Supreme Court’s in Kenya, USA etc.Zambia Concourt needs to impartial during Elections on 12th August 2021. On Lungu’s Third Term Eligibility Concourt should acknowledge that he has been elected and sown in twice and therefore doesn’t qualify for a Third Term.

  6. Good advice but will ECL and Zambia Concourt listen to these words of wisdom. Concourt Judges need to redeem themselves during 2021 Elections. The way Concourt handled Election Matters in 2016 was disgraceful and that tarnished the image of Concourt. How Concourt handles the Third Term issue and Election issues in 2021 will determine the future of this Court. Concourt Judges should act Professionally and Objectively and stop siding with the Ruling Party in its Judgments.

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