PRESIDENT Michael Sata says criminals in the Judiciary are making the work of acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda difficult.
Speaking after a photo session following the swearing in of former chief justices Mathews Ngulube and Frederick Chomba as chairpersons of the tribunals set up to probe the conduct of Ndola High Court judges Emelia Sunkutu and Timothy Katanekwa, President Sata, as he was walking to his office, urged justice Chibesakunda to watch "the criminals".
"You people in the Judiciary are making the job of the (acting) Chief Justice very difficult," President Sata said as justice Chibesakunda responded: "No, they are making my job very easy, Your Excellency."
President Sata further responded: "No, I mean these criminals in the Judiciary. They are making your job very difficult. But anyway, that is why you are there to watch them."
And speaking earlier after the swearing-in ceremony, President Sata said the tribunal would enable Zambians to know the truth about judges Sunkutu and Katanekwa.
"Gentlemen, first of all, I would like to say thank you for accepting to come and be on this not enviable task. The Judiciary in Zambia … everybody looks at it all over the world … it is because of you people. And I am sure you are going to do the same thing. Let the people of Zambia know the truth about these people. You have been in this game before, so life is not very difficult for you," said President Sata.
Justice Ngulube has been appointed chairperson of the tribunal to probe judge Sunkutu, while justice Chomba will be the chairperson of the tribunal to probe judge Katanekwa.
Justices Sylvester Simachela, Bobby Bwalya were sworn in as members of the tribunals to probe the two judges, with Chilombo Maka-Phiri as secretary.
And Attorney General Mumba Malila said the two Ndola High Court judges were being probed for delayed judgments.
Malila said the matter involving the two judges was referred to the Judicial Complaints Authority, which made recommendations that have culminated in the setting up of tribunals.
"This is an interesting one because the two judges have not delivered judgment for the longest period. Allegations of misconduct were made by members of the public and the tribunal, the Judicial Complaints Tribunal heard those complaints and made their decisions and their recommendations. The recommendations have now been put across to the President, with a request that a tribunal be set up. In both cases, I think it has to do with delayed judgments. It has nothing to do with what some tabloids have been speculating on. It is judgment which has delayed, and in some cases I think for as long as seven years or so. I am sure you will come to know details in due course," said Malila.
And Malila said now that the tribunal has been constituted, his office would soon be informed as to when they could start sitting.
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