Suspension of Judges in Zambia
The ICJ has learnt of the suspension of His Lordships Justices Philip Musonda, Judge of the Supreme Court of Zambia together with judges Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna of the High Court of Zambia with the possibility of having them removed as Judges of the Courts.
The ICJ notes that these judges are very senior judges of the bench whose integrity and dignity has not been questioned before.
The ICJ also notes that the President acting on advice given to him has appointed a Tribunal to enquire and determine the suitability of the three judges to continue sitting in the bench.
Deputy Director of the ICJ-Africa Programme, Martin Masiga said: “While the ICJ may not be opposed to legitimate expression of judicial accountability, such exercises must observe due process as required by both the international and municipal regimes of law on judicial independence and the Rule of Law. One would recommend, therefore, that the constitutional procedure be followed in Zambia.”
The ICJ believes that indeed, judges and other judicial officers as servants of the public are, like all other institutions of the State subject to the law, the Rule of Law in particular, and should exercise their judicial functions in accordance with the dictates of the law and their just conscience.
The ICJ hopes that due process and constitutional guarantees in accordance with the laws of Zambia will be followed to ensure that the process is consistent with fairness and that process is not used to undermine the independence of the Judiciary in the Republic of Zambia, as has been the case is some jurisdictions with the region.
The ICJ will, therefore, closely monitoring the situation and developments and will, if necessary, engage all stakeholders to assist in ensuring a fair, speedy and satisfactory resolution of the matter.
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