Lack of respect among three arms of government will cause anarchy, warns VJ

Lack of respect among three arms of government will cause anarchy, warns VJ.

VETERAN politician Vernon Mwaanga says absence of mutual respect among the three arms of government will cause anarchy in the country.

Mwaanga said the Executive, Judiciary and the Legislature perform specific functions as assigned by the Constitution and therefore needed to operate without interference.

“In all modern democratic states, there are three arms of the State namely the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. These arms perform very specific functions assigned to them by the Constitution. These functions have always been respected in Zambia and have operated independent of each other,” Mwaanga said.

“Therefore, attacks on the Judiciary by President Edgar Lungu’s special assistant for press and public relations Amos Chanda are unacceptable and a dangerous intrusion on the Judiciary, which has no place in Zambia. Even during the 18 years of one party rule, there were no such unprecedented attacks on the integrity of the Judiciary even when they passed judgments against the State or shot down powers of the President, which happened times without number.”

He wondered how the executive would feel if judges were to come out on TV or using other media houses to attack the executive.

“I am prepared to bet that there would be a justified public outcry as never heard or seen before. Where has this intolerance come from all of a sudden and where is it going to lead?” Mwaanga asked. “There has always been a modicum of mutual respect [among] the three arms of the State even when they do not agree and that is what the people of Zambia would like to see. If this does not happen, our country will degenerate into a state of anarchy. For the sake of our democracy, leave the judiciary alone, so that they perform their constitutional duties without intimidation or threats from the Presidency or other arms of government.”

And Mwaanga said threats by the PF secretary general Davies Mwila on Law Association of Zambia president Linda Kasonde are unwarranted and an affront on the functions of the lawyers’ association.

He said the LAZ president was merely performing her duty by speaking out on matters of injustice, law and order and therefore Mwila’s declaration of ‘war’ against her was undeserved.

“The law association has been outspoken since independence in 1964 for speaking on behalf of the downtrodden and the voiceless and the attacks on Ms Kasonde, its president, are therefore unwarranted and an affront on the functions of LAZ,” said Mwaanga.

“It is a fact that they have at times said things which annoy or don’t please the government of the day, but is this sufficient to declare war on its spokesperson Mr PF secretary general? We don’t want war and I mean any war in Zambia, which has been an oasis of peace and tranquility for over 52 years. Disagreements among us as Zambians should be respected by all and the tendency to treat all those with opposing or different views as enemies is horribly wrong and cuts across the tenets of democracy, good governance and must be purged.”

The PF last week called Kasonde a UPND sympathiser for speaking, on behalf of LAZ, against State House’s onslaught on the Judiciary following nullification of parliamentary seats for corruption, violence and abuse of public resources.

State House, through Chanda, warned that the PF administration would be forced to undertake judicial reforms the Kenya way if judges did not properly handle nullifications of parliamentary seats.

This was after the High Court’s nullification of the Lusaka Central and Munali parliamentary seats held by PF’s Margaret Mwanakatwe and Professor Nkandu Luo respectively.

So far, judge Edward Musona has granted Prof Luo a stay of his judgment pending appeal in the Constitutional Court while judge Mwiinde Siavwapa has refused to stay his judgment against Mwanakatwe, adding that chances of her appeal succeeding were “very dim”.