The Judicial Complaints Commission (JCC) has called for reforms in the way Judges are appointed to the bench in the country.
JCC Chairperson, Vincent Malambo said there is a need for a transparent and merit-based system to appoint Judges in the country through broader participation to ensure equity in the delivery of justice that will give the public confidence in the system.
The JCC Chairperson said the general public has a critical role to play in the fight against corruption by ensuring that they resist and report it.
Mr Malambo said one of the cases it handled indicates a clear failure of the judicial appointment system where a complaint was already known before the ratification of a named judge.
Mr Malambo thanked the complainant for taking the matter to the JCC and appearing before the commission.
He said the hearing was held in camera as provided for by the constitution.
Mr Malambo said there is need to send a clear message that there is no place for corrupt judges in Zambia.
He said the general public can help by providing information during the verification stage in the appointment of judges so that people of integrity and credibility are appointed to the bench.
And receiving the reports at State House in Lusaka today, President Hakainde Hichilema said appropriate action will be taken in line with the provisions of the law.
The Head of State said no person in the country is above the law and that judges found to be corrupt will be dealt with in line with the constitutional provisions.
President Hichilema assured the JCC that his administration will not interfere with the operations of the Judiciary but will ensure that erring and compromised judges are appropriately dealt with by law.
“The Executive will continue to support your work. We will not interfere with your operations,” said President Hichilema.
The President noted that Judges are held in high esteem by society and viewed as infallible to corruption.
Mr Hichilema hoped that the work of the JCC would be able to foster public confidence in the judiciary with regards to appointment of judges and delivery of justice.
President Hichilema commended the JCC for the work done so far despite being new and urged the commission to expeditiously hear all reports and cases brought before it.
“We need to encourage ordinary citizens to come out and report” said President Hichilema.
Mr Hichilema urged the Judiciary through the JCC to exercise patience and allow the Executive leverage to act on the reports in the same way that government has not interfered in the operations of the commission.
He said his administration will consult the JCC as it looks to act on the reports stating that Zambians are expecting to see the next step over the reports.