Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:24:18 +0000
By Aaron Chiyanzo
PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson Amos Chanda was within his rights to criticise the judiciary on some of the rulings on petitions and the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is being hypocritical for condemning the presidential press secretary, Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) secretary general Raphael Nakacinda has said. Speaking during a radio programme on Joy FM yesterday, Mr Nakacinda said there was nothing wrong with anyone constructively criticising the operations and conduct of the judiciary. He explained that what would be wrong, was for people to start attacking individual judges, but that there was nothing compromising or threatening about Mr Chanda’s statements on advising the judiciary not to be seen to participate in politics. Mr Nakacinda said that it was hypocritical of LAZ to have kept quiet when the judiciary was being castigated by the UPND but voice out its concerns immediately the Presidential press aide criticised the judiciary. He pointed out that UPND president Hakainde Hichilema had branded the Constitutional Court Judges as being thugs and criminals not worth the gowns they were wearing but that LAZ did not condemn such despicable language from the opposition leader. Mr Nakacinda reiterated that the Judiciary was quickly losing public confidence because of the errors and controversies they were creating through their judgements. “There is nothing wrong with anyone criticising the operations of the judiciary. They are quickly losing public confidence because of the errors in their operations, looking at the presidential election petition and how they confused themselves on the 14 days. Mr Chanda was within his right to criticise the judiciary and LAZ is being hypocritical” Mr Nakacinda said. Mr Nakacinda however, warned that people risked plunging the country into problems if they did not have confidence in the judiciary. He said that people needed to constructively criticise the judiciary when it was out of line to help it operate within its jurisdictions. And Mr Nakacinda pointed out that politicians had twisted public perceptions towards the courts of law. He explained that tribalism was the main cause of the innuendos against the courts because some politicians felt that some judges were politically inclined. Mr Nakacinda said that the PF did not feel comfortable when their petitions were handled by judges whose origin was Southern Province and that the UPND also dreaded when a judge from another region handled their election petitions. He reiterated that some judges were perceived to be politically inclined to certain political parties and that they were misconstrued to be favouring them. Mr Nakacinda said that the courts had the responsibility to restore confidence in the general public in their dispensation of justice and that they should raise above political issues.