Judiciary influenced by politicians-Saunders

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Political and Human Rights Activist Dante Saunders says the Zambian Judiciary has been operating under the influence of political leaders since the country attained its independence in 1964.

Mr Saunders has since petitioned the Frederick Chomba led Legal and Justice Sector Reform Commission to restore the image of the Judiciary.

Mr Saunders in his submission to the Commission which sat at the Catholic Church in Lusaka’s  Mtendere township today stated that political interference in the judiciary has led to perpetuated injustices against citizens in all the governments that have ruled Zambia since independence.

Mr. Saunders noted that the country has never lacked laws but leaders to implement laws that have been enacted to smoothly run the country and regulate its citizens.

He observed that the Judiciary cannot make independent judgments because of the control from the appointing authorities who are the government leaders.

He claimed that the Judiciary and its law enforcement agencies can only manage to prosecute powerless citizens for stealing what he termed cheap things such as a chicken while economic plunders who mostly are the rich and powerful are let free because of their influence in society.

He noted that failure by the Judiciary to deliver justice has led to citizens to met out instant justice on suspected offenders because they allegedly have no confidence in the judiciary.

And Mr.Saunder submitted to the Commission to consider looking at the manner citizens are treated in  land allocation in comparison to foreigners.

The visibly annoyed activist stated that it baffles him to see citizens being called squatters in their own country while foreigners are given authority to displace citizens at will.

Meanwhile, Commission Chairperson Frederick Chomba has urged petitioners to be thankful to government for according them an opportunity to point out the wrongs in the Judiciary so that corrections can be made.

Justice Chomba stated that the Commission was not a court to conduct trials on individual cases but to hear from the public what could be done to improve the dispensation of justice in the country.

He said it was not proper for petitioners to question whether the views collected by the Commission will be included in its final report to the government and urged them to be positive.

The Chairman’s comments were in response to Political activist Dante Saunders’ statements that he doubted the Commission even if he decided to make his submission because three other Commissions have sat before while the results have not been communicated to the public.

And Justice Chomba has suggested that he would give a resident of Ibex Hill a special session to disclose to the Commissioners all the evidence he has over an alleged syndicate that has been influencing judgments among judges in courts.

This was after Lawrence Mulenga, a resident of Ibex hill disclosed that he had sensitive information which required more time to present.

Mr. Mulenga had a huge a file which he said had all the evidence of how some judges are alleged to have delegated their rights to pass judgments to lawyers handling a case which he said has tarnished the judiciary.