Supreme & High Court judges’ tribunal to go ahead

Judge Philip Musonda

JUSTICE Minister Wynter Kabimba has said the tribunal instituted to probe three judges will go ahead despite efforts to block it.
Mr Kabimba said those trying to block the proceedings of the tribunal were wasting their time because the law would still catch up with them.
The minister said all the antagonists could achieve was to delay the process but that they would not stop it from going ahead.
He was speaking on Saturday when he appeared on a special Muvi Television’s Assignment programme themed ‘Governance’.
When asked to comment on the fact that the Lovemore Chikopa-led tribunal had failed to successfully take off, the minister said those trying to block its progress were just wasting their time.
Mr Kabimba said nobody could stop a wrong from being a wrong and that those praying for the Tribunal’s failure would not succeed.
Mr Kabimba, who is Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general, said it was the Zambian people who wanted accountability in the Judiciary and that the Government could not afford to protect individual citizens at the expense of majority Zambians.
“We cannot protect two to three individuals at the expense of 13 million Zambians. They can only manage to delay the Judge Chikopa tribunal but the long arm of the law will finally catch up with them and eventually people will know who is right or wrong,” he said.
President Michael Sata instituted the tribunal to probe alleged impropriety by Supreme Court judge Phillip Musonda and two High Court judges Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga.
On calls by some sectors of society for acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda to leave office, Mr Kabimba said the calls were misplaced as Ms Justice Chibesakunda was still eligible to hold the position.
He said Ms justice Chibesakunda was constitutionally within the stipulated age because the retirement age for judges was 65 and the Constitution allowed them to hold office up to 70 years.
He, however, said people’s concerns would still be taken into consideration, adding that the third world had been hit with a shortage of experienced and skilled personnel like Ms Justice Chibesakunda.
On allegations of the ruling party causing by-elections, Mr Kabimba said such polls were budgeted for and that even in a situation where the budgeted funds ran out, the Constitution allowed for a supplementary budget to cater for them.
He said it was his duty as PF secretary general to mobilise more members in the party for easy passing of Bills in the House and that he would not mind even if the ruling party got all the 150 seats.
Mr Kabimba congratulated ZANU-PF of Zimbabwe for amassing majority seats in the just-ended general elections, saying numbers were good for enhancing economic and social strides.
He disclosed on the same programme that the PF had dissolved the Copperbelt and Eastern provincial executive committees in a bid to reorganise the party structures after it lost in three of the recent four by-elections.
Mr Kabimba said the recent loss was caused more by internal issues which the party needed to address by dissolving the two committees.