Zambia's judiciary bears brunt of power struggle

Opposition accuses president and ruling party executives of trying to hold judiciary captive in order to stay in power

Zambia's judiciary bears brunt of power struggle

World Bulletin / News Desk

The judiciary in Zambia is facing the brunt of a power struggle between the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and the opposition People’s Party (PP), with each side accusing the other of violating the country’s constitution.

On Aug. 8, the constitutional court of the country had passed a landmark judgment ordering 72 government ministers, including their deputies to vacate their offices that they allegedly held illegally and also pay back three months of salaries the ministers drew from the national treasury.

President Edgar Lungu had accepted the judgment and assured the people of Zambia that his ministers would pay back the money.

However, according to the opposition, Lungu and PF executives were now trying to hold the judiciary captive in order to stay in power.

The president’s critics accuse him of violating the constitution, especially for allegedly putting the separation of power and judicial independence in serious jeopardy.

The accusation came after the judiciary suffered a verbal attack and intimidation following the nullification of parliamentary seats won by the PF in the Aug. 11 election.

However, the president voiced his own grievances against the judiciary. On Nov. 30, Amos Chanda, the president’s press aide, accused the Zambian judiciary of scheming to oust the ruling party and replace it with the opposition through the back door.

Lungu had backed the statement made by Chanda. “I could not have put it any better than what my press said during the Sunday interview. I totally agree with his views,” he told the media on Nov. 30.

“Like any other person who [commits] errors, the judges are not immune from criticisms,” he added.

 

Last Mod: 06 Aralık 2016, 10:54
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