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Justice delayed is denied fairness, President Lungu frets

Justice delayed is denied fairness, President Lungu frets

December 26
09:07 2017

President Lungu poses for a photograph with Vice-President Mrs Inonge Wina, Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima, Deputy Chief Justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa and the Sworn in Judges (L-R) Justice Martin Musaluke (Constitutional Court Judge), Kelvin Hancubwili Limbani (High Court Judge), Justice Florence Mulenga Lengalenga (Court of Appeal Judge) and Catherine Mulenga Lombe Phiri (High Court Judge) (behind),on Friday, 22nd December, 2017. Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza/State House

By Favourite Jenala Kalando and Derrick Sinjela

President Edgar Chagwa Lungu recently congratulated four judges appointed to ‘The Constitutional Court’, ‘The Court of Appeal’ and ‘The High Court’ following recommendation by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Vowing to uphold the separation of powers doctrine, President Lungu believes the Zambian Judicial Service Commission made the best judicious decision in recommending the appointment of four judges, read a State House Media Statement by Special Assistant to the President Press and Public Relations, Mr. Amos Chanda,  circulated by Cecilia Lubumbashi Mulenga (Mrs) Chief Analyst-Press and Public Relations. President Lungu equally applauded the involvement of the three arms of government; executive, judiciary and legislature, noting that the JSC recommendations were backed following National Assembly ratification, chaired by Speaker Dr. Patrick Matibini and Deputy Speaker Ms. Catherine Namugala.

“We shall uphold and respect the doctrine of separation of powers.  It has always been our stance to be bound by whatever principle we publicly espouse. Separation of powers is one such.  As judges, you should carry out your functions independently, not swayed by outside influences.  Remember that the judiciary can only be as independent as the members that constitute it. The judiciary must reflect on exploring ways of enhancing your independence, transparency, accountability and efficiency to win public trust and confidence,” advised President Lungu in the presence of Vice President Ms. Inonge Mutukwa-Wina, Chief Justice Irene Mambilima and Deputy Chief Justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa.

“The Constitutional Court as a court of first instance, now under a lot of public scrutiny, I expect you to use your trial experience from the Industrial Relations Court division.  You must contribute to public confidence by deciding on cases based on the rule of law and not follow public opinion,” President Lungu implored the Hon. Mr. Justice Martin Musaluke, a judge of the High Court, Industrial Relations division is taking to the Constitutional Court, a rich experience of 20 years practice in private sector.

“You are not new to me.  I have known you as High Court Commissioner in 1990 and High Court judge since 1999, as a private practice lawyer.  You acted as a Supreme Court judge from August, 2012 and October, 2014, thus I have no doubt that you will excel at ‘The Court of Appeal,” President Lungu told Hon. Lady Justice Florence Mulenga Lengalenga.

On Hon. Mr Justice Hancubwile Limbani, President Lungu said: “I have known you since your days as a magistrate and seen you rise as Registrar of the Constitutional Court.  Having spent most of your career in the judiciary, and privy of the High Court workload”.

President Lungu acknowledged Hon. Mrs. Justice Catherine Mulenga Lombe Phiri’s 12 year public service legal practice: “You have spent most of that time handling criminal matters under the director of public prosecutions.  I wish to remind you that you are joining an institution that is very different from the one you worked for.  In your previous capacity, you concentrated on prosecutions.  In this capacity as judge, however, you are expected to work as an umpire of justice and look at matters from a much wider perspective than that of a prosecutor.  I am confident that you will offer invaluable service to the judiciary”.

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