Chief Justice Sakala never hinted at resigning, said judicial reforms must not be destructive

CHIEF Justice Ernest Sakala has said reforms in the judiciary should be genuine and not just aimed at dismissing any judges.

Justice Sakala said no one in the judiciary was resisting reforms but emphasised that the reforms must be genuine and should not cause destructions.

The Chief Justice said if the continuous calls for judicial reforms by civil society and the Church were meant to dismiss judges or dissolving the judiciary, then he was not competent to comment because his office was for genuine reforms.

Mr Sakala who welcomed the reforms said every one needed an independent and accountable judiciary because without it, there would be anarchy in the country.

He said the concept of legal and judicial reforms was accepted by all but it must not be understood to mean the destruction of the judiciary but for improvement purposes because individuals would continue being appointed as Judges or Chief Justices.

“Individuals will continue to be appointed as judges or even Chief Justices, but their time to leave will come and they will go, the judiciary as an institution will remain and will continue to exist, so we welcome genuine judicial reforms,” Mr Sakala said.

He was speaking yesterday at the Lusaka High Court Conference room when he received 55 bibles from the Save Rural Africa Foundation (SARAF) donated to the judiciary with an emphasis for judges to stick to the word of God in their duties.

Mr Sakala has since asked various churches in Zambia to continuously remember the judiciary in their prayers and to pray for the judges especially during this period when it had attracted so much attention including members of his own church.

“I do not believe that donating these bibles here was just a mere coincidence. In my view you must have been inspired to choose this time as there cannot be any better time than this for reasons I do not intend to elaborate here,” he said.

He encouraged his fellow judges to find time of refreshing or remoulding themselves with the Holy Scriptures that gave solace and encouragement to all those that were reading the Word especially those charged with the duty of administering justice.

He said the Holy Bible propounds how justice should be administered so that there was obedience, fairness and equity on earth and that for judicators they were charged with the duty of interpretation of any lawlessness in the execution of God’s charter as enshrined in the statutes.

Justice Sakala encouraged judges to read Psalms 35 and Psalms 109 which were his favourite verses which he read every morning as they were consoling and comforting.

“On my part I consider the Bible to be a higher Constitution which embodies all the Constitutions and the laws of the world. It deals specifically with the conduct of human beings and has set of rules and judges are no exception,” he said.

And SARAF president Chief Chipepo of the Tonga-speaking people encouraged everyone to respect the judges and advised the nation to stop saying ill about them because they were respected people in society with their roots traced in the Bible.

“Judges are a group of people who must be respected. We can’t talk ill about judges just like the President because God was their judge.

“I pray that you all have divine favour through reading these Bibles,” he said.He said the Bible was meant to create wisdom and peace because peace could not go without the word of God.

And Pastor Wisdom Gondwe encouraged judges to take time and read the Bible as they dispense their duties saying the Bibles used to swear in courts were always closed but the ones donated to the judges yesterday were meant to add their biblical knowledge.

“God wants to use every individual to bring peace and the judiciary is no exception. You also have a role to play in society. Other than just passing judgments, you can also be used to spread the word of God to anyone including your children,” he said.

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