Reverand Ndhlovu, the former Secretary General of the Council of Churches of Zambia who is now based in Toronto, Canada where he is serving under the United Church of Canada said the allegiance of Zambian judges is to the ruling party and government of the day and not even to the constitution.
He stressed that the independence of the judiciary does not exist in Zambia.
Reverand Ndhlovu said he dreams of a day when Zambia will have a genuine independent judiciary which can be an honest arbitrator in legal and political cases.
Writing on his Facebook page, Reverend Ndhlovu said, “Some people live under an illusion that we do have separation of powers between the three arms of government namely the Executive, the Judiciary and the legislature.”
“That may be true in other countries like Canada or the USA and others. Even when they have ‘crazy’ President the systems somehow have the capacity to bring about sanity. I congratulate Kenya for setting a new constitutional path in that regard. The President does not any longer appoint judges. They are appointed by an independent Judicial Service Commission,” he added.
“Even the Chief Justice has to apply for the job and be interviewed in public. Judges in motherland are appointed by the President and are expected to be independent and call the government of the day to order in case they go out of bounds,” he said.
“That rarely happens unless some judge has some spine and one can count how many we have had over the past decades. Truth be told and this can be seen from their many questionable actions especially on cases that border on political issues, the allegiance of our judges is to the ruling party and government of the day and not even to the constitution nor the people of the land.”
He added, “You do not need to be like our modern prophets who predict soccer matches to know the end results when such politically appointed judges are presiding over cases with a heavy ‘political undertone’.”
“I dream of a day when shall have a genuine independent judiciary which can be an honest arbitrator when we have to separate legal and political cases in motherland. I dream of magistrates and judges who would stand up without fear or favour. I dream of a day when courts should not be subject to improper influence from the other branches of government, or from private or partisan interests.”
“I dream of a day when wheels of justice will not be made of steel and will move expeditiously.”