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JSC urged to hold judiciary staff accountable

JSC urged to hold judiciary staff accountable

ACTING Chief Justice Michael Musonda has urged the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) not to hesitate to crack the whip on any Judiciary member failing to deliver in their duties.

Mr Justice Musonda said that late delivery of judgements, shoddy judgements and late coming to work does not reflect accountability as directed by the constitution of Zambia in article 118.

“Do not hesitate to evoke your powers of discipline when people are not leaving up to the constitutional imperatives of being accountable,” he said.

He said this when he swore-in the newly appointed JSC chairperson Mwikisa Louis Mukande, State Counsel, at the Supreme Court yesterday.
Mr Justice Musonda said that the Judiciary authority would be exercised in a manner that reflects accountability.

He said that the Commission should not just be accountable in their execution of duty but also ensure that all Judiciary workers including Judges and Magistrates’ work is consistent with the constitutional imperatives of being accountable to the people.

The Acting CJ said that those that feel they cannot deliver to the expectations of the Zambian people, can step down.

“By being accountable, we mean Judges, Magistrates and all judicial officers must arrive on time for work. Now even in the month of Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation has classified Judges as essential workers, so essential that it cannot not be a subject of suspension. If you say people are going to work from home, we mean that they have to work and show results, that they were working from home. Yours is a task to ensure a sense of accountability is practiced from day to day, week-to-week, month-to-month by everyone in the institution,” he said.

Mr Justice Musonda also appealed to the JSC to listen to the complaints of the people.
“The JSC is the eyes and ears of the people, you will be receiving numerous complaints, please listen to these people attentively. I do say sometime that as a judiciary , we have to be careful, we cannot be dealing with a dissatisfied population. The people must be satisfied, and when we feel we are not up to the task, we step aside,” he said.

Speaking after taking oath of office, JSC chairperson Mr Mukande warned that there will be no room for excuses in the commission.
“We promise the people of Zambia that we will take this appointment very seriously. There will be no room for excuses, if you can’t perform, we will tell you to step aside,” he said.

He thanked this predecessor Justice Matthew Ngulube for having laid a good foundation that saw a gender parity in the service.

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