There have been many complaints against David Simusamba’s conduct as magistrate.
But the judiciary administration has refused to do anything about it. Currently, Simusamba is being accused of soliciting a bribe from Chishimba Kambwili. And a complaint about this was made to the Chief Justice but nothing happened. Simusamba has been over protected by the Judiciary administration.
Last week the Judicial Complaints Commission recommended the removal of Lusaka Magistrates’ Court principal resident magistrate Simusamba as a judicial officer.
This follows a complaint filed against Simusamba by MMD president Nevers Mumba.
Simusamba’s conduct as magistrate has been questioned by many people. And one wonders how he has been able to survive for this long as a magistrate. The truth is Simusamba has been useful to the authorities both in the executive and the judiciary itself. He has often been easily used to deliver decisions they want.
The nation is lucky Simusamba has not quickly moved to be a High Court judge with much more wider powers and not easy to remove.
There’s need to balance the need for judicial independence and neutrality against judicial responsiveness and accountability.
An independent, politically impartial, honest and competent judiciary is necessary for the rule of law and for a strong and resilient democratic constitutional order. It is important that the
mode of removing and disciplining judiciary officers help to meet these requirements.
The independence of the judiciary from the executive and legislature, party politics, and vested interests is ensured through security of tenure, immunities and other means.
The need to remove corrupt, negligent and otherwise unsuitable judiciary officers is met by having a thorough, robust and politically impartial judicial disciplinary and removal process.
The mechanisms of judicial discipline and removal must always fit the wider social, legal and political context.