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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

LAZ advises President Hakainde Hichilema not to take John Sangwa’s advice

Headlines LAZ advises President Hakainde Hichilema not to take John Sangwa's advice

The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has advised President Hakainde Hichilema not to succumb to the invitation, from respected Constitutional Lawyer John Sangwa advising the Head of State to appoint the new Chief Justice through a transparent process.

In a statement released to the media LAZ, said that President Hichilema would break the law if he succumbed to the invitation, from Mr. John Sangwa, SC, to involve himself in the process the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) should follow in recommending to him who should be appointed as Chief Justice.

“We advise the President to stay clear of the process to be adopted by the JSC in its function of making recommendations to him,” LAZ advised.

LAZ also condemned the generalized attacks by Mr Sangwa on the Judiciary saying this undermined the Judiciary in the performance of its constitutional function.

Below is the full statement

LAZ STATEMENT ON JOHN SANGWA’S LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT

PRESS RELEASE BY THE LAW ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA

The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has taken note of a letter from Mr. John Sangwa, SC to His Excellency, President Hakainde Hichilema, imploring the President to allow the position of the Chief Justice to be publicly advertised. The said letter, which also disparages the Judiciary, is enjoying wide media circulation. LAZ condemns generalised attacks on the Judiciary as this undermines the Judiciary in the performance of its constitutional function.

The Chief Justice of the Republic of Zambia is appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), in line with Article 140 of the Constitution of Zambia. According to Article 216 of the Constitution, all Service Commissions, including the JSC, shall be subject only to the Constitution and be independent and not be subject to the control of a person or an authority in the performance of its functions. In this regard, Section 23 of the Service Commissions Act, No. 10 of 2016, permits the JSC to regulate its own procedure. In regulating its procedure, the JSC is at liberty to adopt a more transparent method of scrutiny of candidates before it makes its recommendation to the President.

However, the President, in our view, would fall foul of the law if he succumbed to the invitation, from Mr. John Sangwa, SC, to involve himself in the process the JSC should follow in recommending to the President who should be appointed as Chief Justice. We advise the President to stay clear of the process to be adopted by the JSC in its function of making recommendations to him.

Whilst LAZ accepts that a transparent process in the appointment of the Chief Justice and Judges would greatly assist the Judiciary, the suggestions should not take the form of directives from the President.

It is imperative that the Rule of Law be followed meticulously so as to strengthen and not weaken vital institutions such as the Judiciary.

Dated this 3rd day of October, 2021.
SIGNED: Sokwani Peter Chilembo
HONORARY SECRETARY

29 COMMENTS

  1. What John Sangwa ignored is the oversight function of Parliament. We run a representative democratic system, so everything that goes through Parliament represents the voice of Zambians. So even if we followed his proposal, how will the panel to oversee the process be constituted? It’s not 18M Zambians that will sit to process the applications and there’s still no guarantee that the candidate so selected will behave in a dignified manner. Most Zambians perform quite exceptional in other countries but dismally here. So I think the problem is ourselves and not the officer holders.

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  2. My understanding of Sangwa’s advice is to have the process as transparent as it can get and that Bally should not himself meddle. So why is LAZ going against that? …

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  3. Like I stated the constitution does not allow what SC Sangwa is proposing …Please Mr President stay well clear or Sangwa will be the one who will sue you for breach of constitution.

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  4. The attempt by Sangwa to disparage the judiciary is what makes his argument weak. He should desist from doing so and instead attack the existing system of appointing the Chief Justice. Otherwise, he comes across as being self-conceited.

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  5. I always laugh at this statement, ‘shall be subject only to the Constitution and be independent and not be subject to the control of a person or an authority in the performance of its functions.’ It is a ridiculous statement in our laws. Anyone who is appointed by the President cannot be independent. We have seen how the DPP is entering nolles under a different government. What was an offence under PF isn’t any longer. Is that independence? Let’s not kid ourselves. Who appoints the JSC?

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  6. Is the suggestion by Mr. John Sangwa SC in line with the current law in terms of appointment of CJ and Judges? I submit my case.

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  7. Be careful with rigidly following the constitution. Remember purges have been done with constitutional clauses to boot while ethical gestures have been performed in illegal but goodwill fashion. It is always a good idea to check up on the prevailing climate and act likewise. A constitution is not dogmatic. There are provisions there that can allow Acts to be enhanced or advanced. Ba LAZ harken thereof…

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  8. Sometimes lawyer John sangwa wants to do
    His own way.We have to do it in the frame work we have.We do agree to have an independent chief justice but at the end of
    The day he will always be aligned to ruling
    Party so a waste of time.

  9. Sangwa, just like the other bab00ns who supported the under 5, are unemployed and looking for jobs. They thought kz would suffer by removing pf. Submit an application to my company ka sangwa. I will employ you

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  10. Sometimes in trying to have it your way you become irrelevant the SC should read the constitution it will educate him on the judiciary…he might be bitter about his many lost cases he has argued in court but that does not mean throw the baby with the water

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  11. I have started disliking Mr Sangwa on one account. He has insulted all of us Zambians by suggeting that we voted for KK, Chiluba, Sata and Lungu who had no plans on how to rule. And for me these are the worst insult to the people of Zambia and the consititution. The fact that he had a privallage to go to school and become a lawyer does NOT make other Zambians fools. I believe there are better Zambian lawyers out there than Mr Sangwa.

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  12. Of what has been quoted by LAZ, I can’t see where Sangwa went wrong in what he suggested. What law will be broken if the President refuses to appoint a person nominated by the JSC if they did not follow due process similar to that suggested by Sangwa? Please rewrite Zambian law in vernacular. Clearly English is failing lawyers, coupled with the law linguistic.

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  13. No wonder his wife left him…he’s half baked lawyer just likes attention…he has never won a single case….useless Lawyer and he is frustrated because he hasn’t been appointed by HH

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  14. flag Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee)

    I think the essence of what Sangwa suggested still remains: i.e. make the process transparent and ensure the person appointed is of impeccable character and integrity. He may have overstepped on how the appointment is done: i.e. let HH advertise it but LAZ agrees that the JSC is the one that does a recommendation.
    What Zambians need to know is who sits on the JSC? What criteria do they follow to recommend such a person to such an important role? It’s this front end process that needs to be made transparent that most Zambians aren’t even aware of. This process needs to be made public. Then the proceedings of Parliament Select committee and parliament in ratifying the recommended candidate should make the process transparent and public as well.
    Doing this we will end up with a better…

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  15. flag Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee)

    Doing this we will end up with a better baked candidate who has been publicly scrutinised. We need to enhance what we have and strive to improve our Constitutional system.

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  16. flag Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee)

    By the way this is the same LAZ that was quiet and inactive, almost invisible when Lungu and his minions were breaking the Constitution at will… now all of a sudden they have found their voices. Cowards! At least Sangwa has been consistent in his comments.

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  17. How much transparency is transparent ? What I know is that a sitting President cannot fire a judge but constitute a tribunal if they are found wanting. The problem we have is just a corrupt Judiciary system that can give Lungu a third term on a very clear case. Shame on you..!

  18. And you wonder why Lungu always got away with evil? As a lawyer he knew their internal fights and simply exploited the status. Remember FTJ the unionist? He knew the weakness of the labour movement…. ambition to lead…. allowed professions to form unions as they wished and eventually we ended up with so many tuntemba unions.

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  19. Technically John Sangwa said nothing wrong.It is the law that needs to be amended to make the process more transparent and free of political influences.

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  20. I may not be a Lawyer but an Accountant and my understanding of Lawyers at the time of being admitted to the BAR they solemnly do undertake an OATH, swearing to protect the BENCH in short the JUDICIARY and do pledge to abide by both the REPUBLICAN and LAZ Constitutions. Today the opposite is the case and loss of CONFIDENCE IN LEGAL FRATENITY and especially the JUDICIARY by the general Zambian populace, is not because of the POLITICIANS but by a few self-styled and acclaimed Mr/s know it all lawyers.
    Hiding in the so called FREEDOMs of Speech, Assembly, Association and Human Rights to disparage publicly the very LEGAL and the BENCH they swore to protect is not only unholy or uncouth but betrayal of your own profession. It is for this reason that I give credit to LAZ for them to have come…

  21. flag Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee)

    We also have to remember that John Sangwa was banned the bar by the same Judiciary so he’s speaking like a bitter, scolded man. But regardless he makes good arguments that should not just be dismissed.

  22. Am not a legal expert, but in my view Sangwa isn’t entirely wrong. I think the steps we need to follow are as follows:

    1. Constitute a NEW Judicial Services Commission
    2. Allow the public and civil society organizations to NOMINATE candidates for the Chief Justice position
    3. Let the JSC conduct PUBLIC (televised) interviews of the shortlisted candidates and recommend three names to the President
    4. Let the President appoint one of the recommended candidates in line with his Constitutional powers
    SIMPLE!!!!!!!

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  23. Actually LAZ Agrees with John Sangwa! They are in fact they are simply emphasising what SC Sangwa is saying more elaborately.
    they are advising the President to follow the Law!
    READ BETWEEN THELINES!!!

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  24. Just a miserable bunch of job seekers these lawyer kids.
    Whatsoever powers you have slumped on the POTROZ, he will enjoy unless you barristers are now saying that presidents make bad choices. I beg to differ.
    All these unecessary squabbles come in the work of unnecessary procrastination from h² trying to fill the vacuum with unnecessary calls for job applications, interviews and what have you. Procastination is no doubt an enermy of progress. He is too unbearably slow to an extent where even job seekers begin to patronize him.

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