In his on-going tribal appointments, president Michael Sata has side-lined substantive Deputy-chief Justice Irene Mambilima to appoint his relatives Lombe Chibesakunda and Florence Mumba.
Following the death of deputy chief justice David Lewanika, on Wednesday March 19, 2008 parliament ratified the appointment of Justice Irene Mambilima as deputy Chief Justice.
She was ratified the same day Albert Wood was ratified as High Court Judge.
Nothing has changed since then and even the judiciary website still puts Mambilima as Deputy Chief Justice.
When Florence Mumba was forced out as Chairperson of the Electoral Commision of Zambia in 2011 due to allegations of corruption by ECZ workers, Mambilima was taken back to ECZ as chairperson to specifically preside over the 2011 elections.
As chairperson of the ECZ board, she was working part-time but during the election period, she went on short leave from the judiciary prompting Dennis Chirwa to act in her stead. Chirwa was never ratified by parliament.
Justice Mambilima is back as Supreme court Judge and Deputy Chief Justice.
But on Thursday this week, Sata again appointed only his relatives to act as Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice.
Irene Mambilima comes from Eastern province.
Sata had a wide option to select from Supreme Court Judges but its looks like he only the only two Bemba Supreme Court judges.
Without Ernest Sakala and Dennis Chirwa, the other judges on the Supreme Court bench currently are Justice Irene C. Mambilima (Tumbuka), Justice Lombe Chibesakunda(Bemba), Justice Florence Mumba (Bemba by affinity);
Justice Marvin S. Mwanamwambwa (Lozi), Justice Hildah Chibomba(Tonga) , Justice Gregory S. Phiri (Chewa/Ngoni) Justice Muyinda Wanki (Lozi) Justice Elizabeth C. Muyovwe (Tonga).