THE judiciary needs a lot of introspection because it is now acting as if it is a Patriotic Front wing, says National Democratic Congress vice-president Joseph Akafumba. And Akafumba, a former justice permanent secretary, says Zambians have lost dignity under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu.
In an interview, Akafumba, a prominent lawyer, urged judges and magistrates to take time and reflect on the values of the justice system as they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25.
“I clearly recall that Her Ladyship the Chief Justice Irene Mambilima on April 23rd 2015, in her keynote speech ‘Independence of the
Judiciary and Regulation of the Legal Profession in Zambia-A fifty-year reflection’ in Livingstone during the Law Association of Zambian
(LAZ) Annual Conference, said that the judiciary has been its own enemy as many of its problems are self-inflicted. She added that there was need to change the perceptions and prejudices that the judiciary holds before it can expect to change the public perception over the justice system,” he said.
“Her ladyship said there was need for those in the justice system to rededicate themselves to work harder and serve the public more diligently. In her own words, she said: ‘Regrettably, it turns out that
we, as the judiciary, have been our own enemy as many of the problems are self-inflicted’. She even quoted George Bernard Shaw, a play-writer
who once said: ‘Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything’. True to this, the judiciary needs a lot of introspection because it is now acting as if it is a Patriotic Front wing,” Akafumba said.
He added that Chief Justice Mambilima’s words were meant to inspire her flock in the justice system.
“But what we have seen over the recent past is far away from what she was preaching or lecturing to LAZ. We have seen a lot of questionable judgments and many Zambians wonder what sort of the justice system we have suddenly acquired under the PF leadership. It is clear that many
judicial officers have chosen to go to bed with the corrupt in the PF regime at the cost of justice. And as Gorge Bernard Shaw once said as quoted by Her Ladyship Justice Mambilima: ‘Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything’.”
“This is true because the current justice system leaders have no capacity to change anything. If anything, things are getting worse. But there is hope because everyone in the justice system has a chance to go before God and say ‘sorry for we have let the people of Zambia down’. There is need to pray and ask for forgiveness as [those in] the justice system celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ,” Akafumba said.
He added that Zambians had been let down in many instances by the justice system on issues that were even obvious to even those who were not of the Bar.
Akafumba said the justice system had been taken by some greedy men and women who only aspire to gain wealth and not save the poor.
“We have a good flock of credible people of the justice system but they are being let down by the greedy, who are mimicking the PF elite corrupt generals,” he said.
“This has led to the loss of dignity of Zambians because they are being subjected to a poor governance system by the PF as many judgments have been either ignored who have been highly defiled in favour of the PF. Without fair justice, Zambians are left at the mercy of the corrupt and
greedy PF leaders,” Akafumba said.
He reminded Chief Justice Mambilima to get back to her 2015 LAZ speech in which she noted that: “Some measures will entail traversing
uncharted or forgotten waters in order to get back to track and provide quality and effective justice. Some measures require urgent action. Others require corporation from other arms of government,
namely the executive and the legislature to correct.”