President shouldn’t appoint judges-petitioner

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A Kabwe resident has petitioned before the Legal and Justice Sector Reform Commission that the Executive arm of government must not appoint judges.

A 54-year-old Isaac Kambundi of Mukobeko Township told the Commission Chairperson, Justice Frederick Chomba that the appointment of High court and Supreme Court judges should be done by an independent body.

Mr. Kambundi suggested that the Judicial Service Commission can be empowered and appointed by parliament to appoint judges who will have no political allegiances.

He said the current status quo where the President of Zambia appoints judges makes them susceptible to compromise when they hear cases involving the state and opposition parties.

Mr. Kambundi charged that judges were allegedly deciding cases in favour of the appointing authority.

He cited the recent matter in which Judge Mwila Chitabo rescinded his decision after initially granting Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito a stay of execution on his suspension from office.

Mr. Kambundi said he could not understand why a judge could make a decision and then rescind after an alleged barrage of threats from the ruling party.

He said the public holds judges in high esteem and relies on them for fair dispensation of justice noting that its absence casts doubts on their integrity.          

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