As we have always said, our MPs are part of government. They are part of the arm of government called the legislature. Their job as government employees is to pass laws and to ratify constitutional offices holders as proposed by the executive. This is exactly what happened yesterday when Judges Dennis Wood, Evans Hamaundu (supreme court), Chilombo Phiri and William Mweemba (high court) were ratified by parliament.
Yes, some of these justices may have acted contrary to the common good in the past. They have made mistakes. But we believe their wrongs and weaknesses can not completely cancel the inherit goodness that is in each one of them. Should we throw away the baby together with the bath water? The judiciary must work efficiently and to do that it must have an adequate number of judges on the bench. This was what our MPs were aiming to achieve yesterday.
Also note that ratification of judges requires only a simple majority vote. And we dont have those types of numbers in the house at the moment. So to say ‘UPND has ratified’ is not saying the truth in its entirety.
We are not implying that we will always toll whatever line the executive brings to parliament. We have shown in the past that we will always act in what we believe to be the best interest of the nation as a whole. For example we fought the bill to increase the debt ceiling and many other wrong bills. We opposed the ratification of some individuals whom we believed were not suited for the offices they were being proposed to including the acting chief justice and the current DPP. And only in the past week, our MPs took the fight for the constitution to parliament and this is now receiving the attention of the speaker of the house. Our record on many national issues is well tabulated.
Yes some of our partners in the CSOs and some members of the general public may have felt disappointed and late down by this. All we can say is that we will always be available to co-operate with them on many other causes of national importance. We will always stand for Zambia!