CLEAN UP JUDICIARY …it needs men, women of integrity – Sacika
By Chileshe Katongo
SKETHLEY Sacika has called for a cleanup of the Judiciary in Zambia.
Sacika, the former secretary to the Cabinet, said the Judiciary needs men and women of integrity and not those whose focus was on personal benefit.
Dr Cosmas Musumali, an economist, and journalist Dr Fred M’membe have written to the Chief Justice and the Commercial Court judge-in-charge to register complaints against judge Sunday Nkonde’s conduct.
Dr M’membe, in his letter, stated that there was no way judge Nkonde could be allowed to handle the Post Newspapers Limited liquidation matter when he had brought a case against the newspaper supposedly on behalf of Finance Bank while in private practice.
“What is worrying about justice Nkonde’s conduct in that matter is that we now have it on good authority that when he commenced the action against Post Newspapers Limited, he was acting without instructions from Finance Bank. That action was calculated to destroy Post Newspapers Limited and lead to its liquidation as part of a political scheme to silence critical media,” stated Dr M’membe.
And Dr Musumali, in a letter to Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima which was copied to the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Law Association of Zambia, among others, stated that Judge Nkonde must pay back the K2.5 million he got from the Tedworth account and his conduct be investigated.
“I have become aware that in or around October 2016, justice Nkonde, while being judge of the High Court and while abusing the judicial system by suppressing the truth, collected K2.5 million or K2.5 billion (unrebased) from the rental income of Tedworth Properties claiming that it was his fees for having represented the owners of Tedworth Properties Inc,” stated Dr Musumali.
Commenting on the revelations, Sacika said Zambia was headed for a failed state if the judiciary was not monitored and cleaned of corruption.
“The judiciary needs men and women of honour and highest integrity; men and women who will honour public office through personal devotion to public service. Public service is not for men and women who look at it as an opportunity to promote their personal interest. What has been said by Dr Musumali and Dr M’membe is true and shocking, more especially that it involves a High Court judge. This is why we keep calling for a cleanup of the Judiciary,” Sacika said.
He said there was need for an investigation into the matter and remove judge Nkonde from the bench if found wanting.
“Justice Nkonde must be investigated and prosecuted if found wanting so that his prosecution can work as a deterrent. The call is genuine and should be supported by all. Judge Nkonde should be removed from the bench to pave way for investigation,” Sacika added.
He advised the PF government to bring sanity in the Judiciary if it was to gain public trust.
“My final analysis is that the buck stops at President Lungu because it’s his responsibility to make sure that our country is properly managed and that the judiciary is free from all suspicions of corruption so that it can win the trust it had lost from Zambians,” said Sacika.
On Friday, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema said judge Nkonde was a disgrace and must immediately leave the Judiciary because Zambia did not need judges like him.
“Those revelations are shocking. Judge Nkonde is a very big disgrace to our judicial system and he must resign on his own before he is suspended. We cannot be subjected to such conduct by judges because what justice are they going to dispense if they are compromised to an extent of getting colossal sums of money from Zambians?” wondered Hichilema.