Saturday, April 20, 2024

Respond to Petition Against Judges, Attorney General told

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Constitutional Court Judge Justice Margaret Munalula has directed the Attorney General to respond to the Petition in which two citizens are challenging the process of appointing 20 Judges of the superior courts by 6th April, 2023.

Meanwhile, the petitioners have this afternoon successfully filed an application for an interim conservatory order to preserve the status quo on number of Judges of the superior courts pending determination of the matter.

In an interview this morning, Mr Maurice Makalu said his lawyers appeared before the Court this morning and the Judge indicated that the case is peculiar as it challenges the appointment of the judges of the court and that the court has to determine how such a case would be heard since it has interest in it.

What is surprising is that the Judge has told our lawyers that they cannot make interim applications before the matter is allocated, a direction which is alien because she was sitting herself and giving directions. However, we have still instructed our lawyers to go ahead and file an application so that justice can be served.

This is a case in which, Governance Activist, Isaac Mwanza, and Culture Change Consultant, Maurice Makalu, have petitioned the Constitutional Court on the appointment of judges. They are alleging that the process to recommend 20 judges for appointment was flawed as it did not follow the principles and values stipulated in the Constitution, and is illegal.

Meanwhile lawyers petitioners asked the Court to issue a temporally order to preserve the status quo of the Judges until the final determination of the matter.

They also want the appointments quashed and a direction for the Judicial Service Commission to restart the process so that Judges can be appointed on merit, and in compliance with the constitution.

28 COMMENTS

  1. The report lacks vital info. We’re supposed to be told how many judges make the full panels of the Supreme Court, ConCourt and Court of Appeal then how many are sitting and how many have been appointed in excess of the stipulated number. We must also be informed about those that don’t meet the qualifications. That way we’ll be able to follow the case as it develops. It’s difficult to make a fair comment

  2. If Zambia was a decent constitutional democracy this process should ve been halted by Judges themselves but Judges fear Presidents in this country. And when you ve Munalula who for long has plainly taken positions that favour this govt, then you ve problem.

    • Judge Munalula was appointed through the process that Isaac Mwanza and his co-litigant Maurice Makalu are now challenging. The judge recognises this and has even said the case is unique since the court being called upon to pronounce itself on it is also an interested party. The Constitutional Court is damned if hears the case and damned if it doesn’t. What to do now? Isaac Mwanza and his co-litigant should be asked when they realised that the process of appointing judges is flawed.

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    • Gunner in Zambia, the question is what has LAZ been doing when this matter concern its own members which have been disadvantaged by system of appointing Judges Kaunda left. Maybe Isaac is being methodical.

  3. Truth is Malila and Munalula are under instructions to delay this matter. But this is bad for development of law. That’s how new dawn manage these judges. Judicial independence and effectiveness in Zambia is a circus

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    • It’s hard to believe you Kadansa because judge Munalula has implored the Attorney General to reply to this matter by 6th April. How can that come from a judge who has instructions to delay the case? It’s your imagination which has gone into overdrive. The same judge allowed the litigants to file an interim injunction. Don’t judge everyone by the PF’s corrupt standards.

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  4. You guys are expecting too much from this court. So long you have praise singers on the bench, forget about doing right things. Our courts haven’t reached equivalence of South Africa, Kenya courts. President won’t allow that matter to pass. Where is LAZ?

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    • Yours is a flawed argument. The majority of judges on the Constitutional Court including judge Munalula were appointed by Edgar Lungu. Hw then do they become what you are calling praise singers?

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    • Do you know what you’re talking about? The judge is not a party to a matter filed into court. The judge is a referee, so to speak.

  5. When I say Africa is a joke and we joke too much, i mean just that. Does anyone in right frame of mind think those judges will even give this matter a priority? They would rather eat those millions they get in salaries and not come into conflict with HH over flawed process.

    • You’re too negative and suspicious for your own good. The judge has given this matter the importance it deserves. She has given the Attorney-General a date by which she wants to see a reply from their chambers. What more do you want? Don’t judge everyone by the PF’s corrupt standards. The majority of Constitutional Court judges are Edgar Lungu’s appointees after all.

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    • You did not have any problem with this law when Lungu and Sata were abusing it to load the judiciary Sakalas, Tembos, Phiris, Mwales and Chandas, Chishas, Chileshes etc.. Now you Nkomeshas, Kakoma, Moongas, Muyundas, all of a sudden the law is flawed and must be changed. The petition will fail because if it passes, then all the judges in the county must be fired because they were hired according to this law.

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    • You did not have any problem with this law when Lungu and Sata were abusing it to load the judiciary Sakalas, Tembos, Phiris, Mwales and Chandas, Chishas, Chileshes etc.. Now you see Nkomeshas, Kakoma, Moongas, Muyundas also being hired, the law is flawed and must be changed. The petition will fail because if it passes, then all the judges in the county must be fired because they were hired according to this law

    • Judges move with the wind. They jumped bus to HH. Its a fallacy to think our Judges are independent in practice. Haven’t you noticed how frequent the President hosts either Malila or these judges?

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  6. Only way our courts will operate independently and will have confidence to make bold decisions is when they free themselves from captivity by the Executive which has gone on since independence. This case is solid and presents good case for law to be clarified. Manner of judicial appointment affect independence of the courts. But like many, I have little faith in the court to do right thing. ECL destroyed it, HH is hammering the last nail with bringing his own people too.

    • You never complained when Lungu was appointing people from your provinces. You are complaining now because with HH giving every province an equal voice, your people will not be able dominate as before. Is it any surprise the litigant is called Mwanza. This case is going to fail in the courts because HH is following precedent. He is walking through the door all of you created.

  7. Only way our courts will operate independently and will have confidence to make bold decisions is when they free themselves from captivity by the Executive which has gone on since independence. This case is solid and presents good case for law to be clarified. Manner of judicial appointment affect independence of the courts. But like many, I am a mam of little faith in that court. It can’t do right thing. ECL destroyed it, HH is hammering the last nail with bringing his own people too.

  8. It can’t be said better than this. All Presidents in Zambia want Judges in their pockets. HH is going the same route as his predecessor. But this is certainly an interesting case. Munalula should not be seen to be using it to protect her interest.

  9. I had a field day when Mrs Mutale Nalumango failed to defend the ECZ on the Kabushi and Kwacha concourt ruling on a question from one MP. An intelligent person would have simply asked for time to research instead of embarrassing herself. And that woman speaker keeps on shouting ORDER HONOURABLE MEMBERS! each time MN waffles.

  10. A normal South African Court would not allow these appointees to begi performing tasks until the matter is fully decided. This is about credibility of Judges themselves to sit and adjudicate, what if, the Court finally finds the process is actually flawed? Will they reserve the damage these new Judges would ve done to cases before them?

  11. Problem is this court has shaky foundation. Its impossible to rule against executive. It sill soon become irrelevant because it can’t freely adjudicate without influence from politicians in power. The fever started with Lungu now HH won’t allow them to stop his judges.

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