MUMBA Malila says there has never been interference in the delivery of judgments by the executive.
And justice minister Wynter Kabimba says the PF has never complained of judgments delivered against the party by the judiciary.
During the farewell party for Malila and Mwila Kombe who had been appointed Supreme and High Court judges respectively, organised by the Ministry of Justice yesterday, Malila said he was allowed to make independent decisions and work as a professional.
“I can confirm now that having served as Attorney General, I have known no interference of the judiciary by the executive. The perception could be true that there is interference I will know as the link but there has never been a single moment you government have interfered in the discharge of my duties,” Malila said.
“You government have kept your different route and I have kept mine. I would make independent decisions and you would respect that as minister of justice even if it were different from yours. You can rest assured that having worked as Attorney General, I was privy to making of public policy, I very well understand the issues. I know where we are coming from as a country and how the judiciary should conduct itself,” he said.
Malila said he was pleased that he was leaving the office in capable hands.
Former Solicitor General, Musa Mwenye, takes over from Malila and Lusaka lawyer, Abraham Mwansa, replaces Mwenye.
And Kabimba said both the government and party had not complained of any judgment because they wanted the judiciary to be autonomous.
Kabimba said he told the parliamentary select committee to scrutinise the appointments of Mwenye and Malila as the task to identify people of integrity had not been easy.
He said the government was searching for men and women that would exhibit high standards of professional integrity.
Kabimba said the government wanted to see an independent judiciary without any interference from the authorities.
“The Judiciary is a pillar for society’s social order. We want a judiciary that won’t raise any doubt in the minds of our citizens, we want an impartial judiciary that can contribute to social stability in our country. It must give relief to our citizens, sooth the minds of our citizens that indeed judgments pronounced are impartial,” he said.
Kabimba said he did not want judges that rendered judgments favourable to the PF.
“We are looking for judges that will pass impartial judgments; after all as a party we intend to do no wrong; the Judiciary must be a people’s judiciary and serve the interests of the people, not just a group of individuals; that’s the kind of institution we would like to construct. As you go, you know the direction of this government and I don’t remember any Cabinet meeting where members complained of any judgments against us; that’s the respect we have for this Judiciary,” Kabimba said.
Kabimba said the Judiciary should keep its ears open to the cries of the people and champion the fight against corruption.
“That corruption can’t be tolerated as pronounced by His Excellency President Michael Sata. He abhors corruption and it must be stamped out, it’s a sin. There is no small or big corruption, corruption is corruption and it must be stamped out of our country,” said Kabimba.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Justice permanent secretary, Josephs Akafumba, described Malila as one of Zambia’s brilliant legal brains.
Akafumba said the hard work of Malila and Kombe had paid off through their appointments to the Supreme and High courts.
Kombe was until her appointment chief state advocate at the Ministry of Justice.