There’s no separation of powers in Zambia


“You should, at all times, bear in mind that judicial power and authority is derived from the people of Zambia,” Edgar Lungu recently told a group of High Court judges he was swearing in. “You are also expected to deliver quality and fair justice. As judges, you should carry out your functions independently and should never be swayed by outside influences. As the executive, we will continue to uphold and respect the doctrine of separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary.”

Edgar said as umpires of justice, judges were expected to discharge their duties with independence, good judgment, competence and accountability.

Edgar is fond of saying things he doesn’t mean.

Can Edgar really and in all honesty talk about the independence of judges?

This is the same Edgar who used Sunday Nkonde to fix The Post and Dr Fred M’membe! And he has been protecting Nkonde from being made to account for his actions after the Judiciary Complaints Commission found him with a case to answer in the complaint brought against him by Dr M’membe.

Edgar went as far as having his Attorney General enter a consent judgment with Lewis Mosho to protect Nkonde.

Today Nkonde is even arrogant to the Chief Justice because of Edgar’s protection. And Nkonde even boasts about his State House protection.

And the Anti-Corruption Commission can’t prosecute Nkonde for stealing Tedworth Inc. funds belonging to the Zambian government. Nkonde is Edgar’s dirt business judge and as such he is untouchable.

So all this talk about the independence of judges is nonsense, a lie to try and hoodwink the Zambian people.

There’s no politician or president in the history of this country who has abused judges than Edgar to fix political opponents or to get an outcome he wants.

Edgar has not hesitated to appoint well known Patriotic Front cadres as judges! What independence, impartiality and integrity can one reasonably expect from such judges?

Edgar and his judges have no commitment to independence, impartiality and integrity.

Can Nkonde claim to be independent, impartial or to have integrity?

Edgar says judges are expected to deliver quality and fair justice!

What quality and fair justice has come out of his judges? Can those absurd and clearly faulty decisions from his Constitutional Court judges be said to quality and fair justice?

Edgar has destroyed the judiciary with his appointment of incompetent, inexperienced and corrupt Patriotic Front cadres as judges.

There will be need for a total cleanup of the judiciary after Edgar is gone. Every judge will have to be made to account for every decision they made or face consequences or temerity of that. There should be no impunity.

And as Edgar correctly puts it, judges should, at all times, bear in mind that judicial power and authority is derived from the people of Zambia. Indeed, real power does not lie with these incompetent, impartial and corrupt judges; it lies with the Zambian people. And time will certainly come for them to account to the Zambian people in the way it happened in Kenya a few years ago. Edgar will not always be with state power to protect them. It’s only good and honest work that can truly protect them.

All the rights secured to us as citizens of this country under the Constitution are worth nothing, and a mere bubble, except guaranteed to us by independent and virtuous judges. Today, because of impartial and corrupt judges people are unjustifiably losing their freedoms and property.

The bedrock of our multiparty political dispensation is the rule of law and that means we have to have an independent judiciary, judges who can make decisions independent of the political winds that are blowing.

Can we today in all honesty claim to have such a judiciary and judges in Zambia?

The judges in Zambia are not independent. It’s widely known, everybody knows that.

The accumulation of all powers – legislative, executive, and judiciary –  in the same hands of Edgar, as things stand today, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. Edgar today is in total control of the legislature, the judiciary and the executive. There’s no separation of powers./

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