Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sata mocks HH
By Roy Habaalu and Allan Mulenga
Sat 13 July 2013, 14:00 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has mocked Hakainde Hichilema over his ascendancy to the presidency of UPND.

In a letter to Hichilema dated July 12, 2013, President Sata said he would only respond to Hichilema's claims after telling him the legitimacy of his leadership.

"RE: Appointment of acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda. I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 9th July, 2013, on the above matter. I will only respond to your letter when you tell me who elected you as president of the United Party for National Development (UPND), because as far as we know, you have never been elected to the section, branch, ward, constituency, district, province and let alone to the presidency of your party," read President Sata's response to Hichilema's letter.

In his letter to President Sata, Hichilema stated that the continued stay of justice Chibesakunda at the helm of the Judiciary was illegal.
He stated what was obtaining in the Judiciary suggested that there was more rot now than at any other time in the history of the country.
Hichilema claimed that if not corrected, the continued stay of justice Chibesakunda would erode people's confidence in a very important arm of government.

"We have noted with great concern that madam Justice Lombe Chibesakunda has been in acting role for more than (1) year. "Acting" does not connote permanency. It is temporary administrative measure. What is obtaining now in the judiciary is tantamount to making a permanent decision in temporary circumstances. This is a breach of the Constitution and is unacceptable. We demand that you live up to the oath you swore to uphold by correcting the constitutional and statutory violation outlined above through the appointment of a substantive Chief Justice," read Hichilema's letter.

Hichilema stated that a select committee of Parliament comprising political parties rejected the name of justice Chibesakunda.
He stated that the continued stay of Justice Chibesakunda after she was rejected by the select committee of Parliament was a clear abuse of power by the executive.

Hichilema said appointing judges on contracts was unconstitutional.

"There is no provision in the constitution for a judge to serve on contract. Allowing a judge to serve on contract like in the current case only serves to compromise their independence. There are many qualified person below the age sixty-five (65), years that you can choose a substantive chief justice from," he stated.

Hichilema said her continued stay would cement the idea that she was in that position as a cadre of the government party to dispense injustice against the opposition.

And Vice-President Dr Guy Scott told Parliament that justice Chibesakunda was on contract and that her continued stay at the helm of the judiciary was legal.

Responding to Katombora UPND member of parliament Derrick Livune who rose on a point of order questioning the legality of the continued stay of Justice Chibesakunda after the parliamentary select committee rejected her candidature for the position, Vice-President Scott explained that she was on contract and her stay was legal.

"Let me first seek permission from Mr Speaker, whether I can respond to this because it is before the courts of law. You should know that she is has signed a contract and therefore, it is legal. There is nothing like acting Chief Justice; it is just Chief Justice," he said.

Vice-President Scott explained that it was procedural that her name was submitted to the parliamentary select committee for scrutiny.

But Mazabuka UPND member of parliament Garry Nkombo in a point of order demanded to know the length of Chief Justice Chibesakunda's contract and when it became binding but Speaker Patrick Matibini said the Vice-President had already tackled the question.

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