President Michael Sata has appointed his relative Justice Lombe Chibesakunda as the new acting Chief Justice while Judge Florence Mumba is the new Acting Deputy Chief Justice with immediate effect.
Sources have told the Watchdog that the current Chief Justice, Ernest Sakala, and his Deputy Dennis Chirwa have been forced to go on leave pending expiry of their contracts in August this year.
The sources said Justice Chirwa was asked to Act as Chief Justice but he refused opting to go on leave.
Lombe Chibesakunda is the aunt to Local Government and Housing Minister, Prof. Kandu Luo and and former clerk of National Assembly, Mwelwa Chibesakunda, who is current Zambia’s Ambassador to Japan.
Sata’s mouth-piece George Chellah comfirmed the appointment of Sata’s relative as acting Chief Justice.
The PF government has appealed to the Supreme Court on the issue involving the suspension of Judges over the case of Fred Mmembe and DPP Mutembo Nchito.
Former Vice-President, late George Kunda, once said there were people who wanted to take over state power.
See the story below…..
M’membe is trying to take over state power – Kunda By Ernest Chanda Tue 22 Dec. 2009, POST NEWS PAPER
VICE-PRESIDENT George Kunda has accused Post editor-in-chief Fred M’membe of trying to take over state power by scheming to control the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and other constitutional offices.
Featuring on Radio Phoenix’s Government and You programme in Lusaka on Sunday, Vice-President Kunda claimed that M’membe’s scheme to control the DPP was hatched as early as 2002 for power and monetary gain.
He said it was treasonable for M’membe to want to have state power and vowed that the government would not allow a situation where all institutions were answerable to M’membe.
“Now the DPP’s office in this country, this thing has got a historical background.
“The targeting of the DPP’s office, the targeting of constitutional office holders, the targeting of the judiciary; it is meant to weaken these institutions for the public to lose confidence in them.
It’s a well-calculated enterprise, this. Now it started with the late DPP Mukelabai Mukelabai, may his soul rest in peace.
He was hounded out of office in similar circumstances. Now, we have the current DPP who has only served from that time in 2002, for just a short period of time; again a similar thing.
Now, is it that only DPPs make mistakes? Why are they targeted?” Vice-President Kunda said. “I’ll tell you the answer. The answer is about making money.
People they want to control these offices, they want to control state power so that they can select who has to be prosecuted and when.
“Once you are accused by a newspaper, they will continue hammering on you, hammering on you until you are convicted; that is not justice.
They want to intimidate everybody in the country, to intimidate the judges so that when cases come before those judges, they know.
And institutions for example like TIZ, Transparency International Zambia, you know their bread and butter is fighting corruption. So they need a user-friendly DPP.
Forget about human rights, forget about justice. Once you go in some of these courts, once you are accused by them, they are the judges, the prosecutors, the executioners, everything in one person.
So now what they want is to control these institutions. Now, just imagine if this kind of thing is allowed and we shall not allow it because it’s a recipe for anarchy in this country, we shall not allow it.
And the DPP is not going to resign; he is firmly performing his functions. Now if you allow a situation like this where all institutions are answerable to Mr Fred M’membe, you are finished as a country.”
Asked by the presenter if he viewed M’membe as a powerful individual capable of controlling government institutions, Vice-President Kunda threw the question back to the presenter and said government would not allow criminality.
“It’s up to you, I want you to answer the question. But this is the scheme; this is the scheme which is there which we will not allow.