Professor Hansungule says Supreme Court ruling on Tribunal has weakened judiciary

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micheloRespected Zambian law scholar Professor Michelo Hansugule says the Supreme Court ruling that allows a tribunal set up by President Michael Sata to go ahead hearing the three suspended judges has effectively weakened the judiciary in the country.

Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda passed one of the most ambiguous Supreme Court ruling when she said President Sata acted within the constitution to suspend three judges but advised against proceeding with the same tribunal due to constitutional issues.

The three judges – Phillip Musonda (Supreme Court), Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna (High Court) – were at the centre of a judgment that found President Sata’s allies Fred M’membe (Post Newspapers owner) and Mutembo Nchito (Director of Public Prosecutions) guilty of defaulting over K18 billion public loan.

Exclusively speaking to Zambia Reports, Prof Hansungule, a lecturer at the University of Pretoria, said while he had not read the actual ruling to give a definite opinion more so he was scheduled for a meeting with the Acting Chief Justice, he still found the judgment wanting.

“If I can say anything out of what I get from media sources, the majority ruling is helping the Executive to weaken the judicial arm of government and I fully understand why senior members of the Executive on the case are celebrating,” the South Africa-based law lecturer said.

“Besides the Kingdom of Swaziland where High Court Judge Thomas Masuku was dismissed for a sentence he wrote about His Majesty the King in his judgment, this is the second case in the region where a judge is being investigated for discharging his functions as by law laid down.”

Prof Hansungule, a strong critic of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) who was given unfettered covered by the PF aligned Post Newspaper which is no longer the case now, said on the basis of the scanty information in public domain, he still cries for his country.

“This is sacred soil for another government branch to carelessly tread on. Article 91 (2) of the Constitution reads:

“(2) The Judges, members, magistrates and justices, as the case may be, of the courts mentioned in clause (1) shall be independent, impartial and subject only to this Constitution and the law and shall conduct themselves in accordance with a code of conduct promulgated by Parliament.

“This is echoed by relevant provisions of international law applicable to Zambia an example of which is Article 26 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which enjoins States parties to guarantee independence of their judiciaries.”

Prof Hansungule adds, “…implicit in article 91 (2) above read with 98 (2) (3) and (4) is a duty on the President to carefully and calculatedly weigh his options as he considers invoking any of the sanctions against a judge in this sensitive branch of government.”

Prof Hansungule has promised, after thoroughly studying the heavily criticized and condemned judgment, to issue a comprehensive legal opinion.

Zambia is plunged in fear that with the judiciary sold out to President Sata and his business partners, clearly sacrificing its independence, the country is fast heading into a one party state where opposing views will be crushed with impunity.

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71 Responses to Professor Hansungule says Supreme Court ruling on Tribunal has weakened judiciary

  1. these judges are not above the law in fact most of them are criminals therefore this is just the starting of them been exposed.
    I do not support MR Sata but on this one is right.

    chox - May 13, 2013


    vincie - May 13, 2013

  3. Strange, isn’t it? The Post newspaper, which was once so mouthy about Prof Hansungule has now chosen to remain silent when Hansungule is making a serious point. Its called hypocisy!!

    Ngoni Zealot - May 13, 2013

  4. Too bad. The worst is coming.

    Manchild - May 13, 2013

  5. its true./.we shall never trust the judiciary under pf failures..

    Wawa - May 13, 2013

  6. DON’T KUBEBA!!!

    Narep - May 13, 2013

  7. Mr professor upnd, the judiciary has weakened itself by by allowing corrupt judgements to pass witout restraint, hence the public out cry for judicial reforms. Let the corrupt judges be heard! Infact there is still need for further massive clean up of the judiciary!

    Anti PF - May 13, 2013

  8. dictator sata you voted for him

    root - May 13, 2013

  9. Sata Bufi,Ulabeja.

    Tech Reporter - May 13, 2013

  10. I can see a hemosexual wedding between President Sata and Chikopa in Prison when PF leaves Power.

    The bottom line is when people borrow money from a bank (a public bank fo that matter) they must pay back. You can’t surely punish people who say you must pay back?.

    CJ Chibesakunda, you won’t enjoy yor retirement if you are not careful. This matter will surely come back to Courts when PF is out of Power.

    wiza - May 13, 2013

  11. The Executive supervises the Judiciarly and it has powers to displine its subordinate. Articl 19(2) can not apply to the executive as it has supervisory powers of Juditiary. I pity HANSUNGULE, he is out dated lawyer, lucks mordern understanding.

    Opash Perez - May 13, 2013

    • Executive supervises Judiciary!!!!. may be right from the African context.
      True democracy demands supremacy of the constitution and this constitution is interpreted by an independent Judiciary.
      This was taught at secondary School you don’t need to be a lawywer to understand this.How can the Executive be above Judiciary?

      Inxosana - May 13, 2013

  12. ata

    leon - May 13, 2013

  13. professor i disagree with you! as counsel i believe the the judgement is sound and should be respected by all law abiding citizens. Mind you every case has at least 02 arguments one is for and the other is against and yours is just one of the two.

    buchi - May 13, 2013

    • Your opinion can be respected but ,but, but, but I do not know how to describe you. God forbid.

      Lasi - May 13, 2013

    • Are you in so saying also saying that it was wrong for the judges in question to pass judgement on those who need to pay back that which they borrowed?

      Chimangeni Napapaata - May 13, 2013

    • I know you are PF but try to be analtyical for once. The prof. is spot on. How can a judgement say the “the president is on firm ground to constitute the tribunal” and at the same time ädvice that the tribunal should not proceed due to constitutional considerations”. This is legal confusion. That old woman should have thought-out her position clearly.My basic understanding of issues is that the Judicial Complaints Commission- which is a creature of an act of parliament, should exhaustively deal with the matter and recommend to the chief justice for further action. The tribunal should have been set up on the recommendation of the JCC and CJ. These are processes and procedures that ensure fair play and justice. simple and straightforward.

      Zedforward - May 13, 2013

  14. Hansungule your statement should have read ‘weaken the judicialy more’ and not’will weaken the judicialy’

    leon - May 13, 2013

  15. Chibesakunda failed to deliver judgement in this case. She advised while knowing Sata suffers from incolligible depreciation. Secondly, she is illegally occupying the office and therefore making her judgements illegal

    Movement for Multi-Doctors - May 13, 2013

  16. Chibesakunda is related to Sata. She should have not presided over the judgment. Besides that, she’s beyond her retirement age (like 4 of the 7 judges who reviewed this case) and is at the mercy of the president to extend her contract. That in itself is reason to pass a judgment favourable to the president.

    MALOZA - May 13, 2013

  17. Where are we heading to? Zambia is rotting slowly with this kind of leadership.

    Yangu Taata - May 13, 2013

  18. Where are we heading to?

    Yangu Taata - May 13, 2013

    • we are heading to hell

      The_Truth_Commission - May 13, 2013

  19. It would be asking for too much to ask the PF government to heed to the unsolicitated counsel from the ACJ and team because they are morally bankrupt, it’s like they feel so oppressed and harrassed by the opposition and the lack of spirit of leadership is aggrevating matters for them.

    eric factors - May 12, 2013

  20. Justice chibesakunda must resign!

    Joseph - May 12, 2013

  21. SATA(n) has no morals. He is going ahead with the tribunal.

    stixy - May 12, 2013

    • You are the one with no morals. Just sit back and see the level of rot in the judiciary then you make comment with information. I can assure you, you will be knocked out of your chair with disappointment with yourself for having sided with these judges. Just wait and see.

      RB - May 12, 2013

      • if the judiciary is rotten as you say, then we do not need an equally rotten executive as is the case today. the judiciary, yes, is rotten because the head of it, cj, is rotten inside, under, on top,side, back, front, chest and inlet as well as outlet. how can she say the president used his constitutional powers but at the same time advice the president not to proceed with the tribunal, how and y? the courts’ role is to interpret law and give proper and fitting decision and not leave decisions to over-excited kabimba law lectured satanists.

        chipasa 'inge' - May 12, 2013

        • dont bother responding to this “”RB”" character writing. is just an advanced kaponya who has just learned to type. cannot understand our advanced intelligent reasoning. thinks small.

          The_Truth_Commission - May 13, 2013

  22. What a sickening situation we are in as a nation. It is not only a few people that can read and translate legislation. If you borrow money with a promise to pay back but default to pay back, you are still liable and consequences must follow. How difficult is this to comprehend? As it is we are wasting time and money deliberating an obvious issue such as this one. The people that borrowed money from the bank MUST pay back. If they are not able to, their assets MUST be confisticated, and they MUST serve a jail term. If the president acts otherwise to protect the wrong doers, the electorate MUST protest for revsersal of the decision. This is not difficult to do. Right now we are sleeping. Come on Zambia.

    DEVELOPER - May 12, 2013

  23. Prof Hansungule

    Your hate for RB and MMD compromised your intellectual judgement. You are now trying to save face after you UKWA is now behaving like a baboon and you do not want to associate with him..

    Its too late

    TheEngineer (Australia) - May 12, 2013

    • Professor’s hate for RB coupled with his unholy alliances with one Fred Mmembe and illiterate PF cadres does not earn him any respect from me. Professor should have had foresight and vision, considering his academic achievements, to see through the LIES and DECIET of the PF as vuvuzelad by Mmembe. In my opinion, Professor’s opinions do not hold any water or any credence at all. He consorted with crooks and thieves in the name of Post Newspapers and he should reap the full benefits of what he sowed together with the PF Sycophants.

      Centre Back Of Democracy - May 12, 2013

  24. Judge Chikopa must be made aware by the Zambian Tax Payers, opposition parties and all stakeholders that when a new Govt is formed he will be made to pay back all the Zambian taxpayers money and he will also be made accountable for participating in something that Zambians are strongly against meaning he should have been ethical and realize that Governments come and go but people will still be made accountable.

    My Zambia - May 12, 2013

    • Forget my dear! He is not the first one to chew that kind of money! Politicians are just the same. They promise one thing whn outside but once they form government, they do the exact things their predcesors did!

      Zambia the real africa bakaamba!

      Magna - May 13, 2013

  25. Judgements should be free from injustices,inducements, partialities,self/masters-appesements and above all self-centeredness.Chibesakunda and her team heartdilly knows what they have done,their concious will judge them.God will deal with them as befettingly.

    say thetruth - May 12, 2013

  26. My opinion is; Chibesa kunda led team judgeemnt could be respected as it cant be reversed, whether it is full of in/justices. However, it should be noted that the priceedent she had made will always be accounted by her either in heaven or hell. So she should be reminded that decision she makes which concern the people of Zambia and world atlarge should be free from injustice, partialities, inducements, self/masters-apesements and above all self centeredness.

    say thetruth - May 12, 2013

  27. Professor don’t waste your breath sata and his fellow fools have plugged their ears, what we are all saying(including you)is noise to them .

    nude - May 12, 2013

  28. Everyone must be accountable to somebody whether you like it not. The question is, “who guards the guard?”
    There has been so much purported corruption in the judiciary. Who, then should check it to ensure sanity?

    BUBELA BWATAMA - May 12, 2013

  29. Prof. Hansungule must be the last person to complain. I do not think if he was given a job by pabwato he would write anything close to criticism. Look at his colleague mmembe, he cant see anything wrong in all that his ‘saint michael’ does not because he is principled but because mmembe knows he would rot in jail if he dared the pf. The safest thing for him is to support and justify all the crap coming from the pf leadership not forgetting off course his copied and pasted editorials from real editors of some publications. As for Hansungule, taste your own medicine and see whether you will still be given space in the post as a columnist…. You will be lucky if you succeed! However, welcome to the real world of ambigous supreme court judgements!

    Oldmadala - May 12, 2013

  30. There’s no Judgment which has two folds.A judgment should be decisive not give advise.If his excellency din’t breach the constitution,why advise him that the tribunal should not proced?Infact parliament din’t ratify her appointment hence pleasing her appointee.

    Bazoona - May 12, 2013

  31. Professors who allowed themselves to be used and abused and then dumped……, I didn’t finish the sentence so please don’t sue me.

    foloko - May 12, 2013

  32. We shall offload all the deputy ministers that we have poached and normalise the size of cabinet as per our manifesto once we get the absolute majority that we want in parliament. So if you are a poached deputy minister like namulambe and company, start preparing for a life without a flag and all the trappings, start saving hard or studying for a career man, for your children and spouses will not manage to handle the shock that donchi kubeba has in stock for you. Just think about it, what is so special about YOU to be a deputy minister and NOT our own committed cadres who fought so hard for our victory?

    foloko - May 12, 2013

  33. This guy has finally let his balls free from the Mumembe grasp, well done Prof ! You can now talk as professional man, not the cadre you have been for years.

    Kay - May 12, 2013

  34. A professor whose name starts with ‘H’ cant make rational contributions anyway. HH, Hansungule, etc

    Democrat - May 12, 2013

  35. A professor whose name starts with ‘H’ cant make rational contributions anyway.

    Democrat - May 12, 2013

  36. Am eagerly waiting for Muna Ndulo’s comments and opinion. Do it sir, we want to learn. Come 2016 or earlier, i will be opresident and tell all crimanals to walk out of courts, denounce the judiciary and i WILL CREATE INQUIRIES AFTER iQUIRIES!

    Harold - May 12, 2013

  37. Don’t insult the president bloggers, just articulate issues in a respectable and intelligent manner

    Simbwindibwi - May 12, 2013

    • Which president you fucker, do you have a president?

      Kamuntu - May 12, 2013

    • Which president you mo…. fu.c.ker?

      Kamuntu - May 12, 2013

  38. I expect a Prof. of law to comment after reading the judgment and not base is comments on media reports. Anyway there is a difference between knowing principles of law and actual application. The prof. does not practice law, his is a world of academics. This is different from practice.

    Add - May 12, 2013

    • What can we say? That is a UPND prof. pipo and ZWD are calling LEARNED! Kikiki. Hand me some pop cones and HD glasses for some more ZED movies!

      Magna - May 13, 2013


    COONDE - May 12, 2013

    • You see Sata is not above the Law, it is the Zambian people that do not know their rights including the judges. We are such a timid group of human beings. We cannot stand up for our rights – reason for which each president who comes will just trod on us and move on. So it is you who is sickening for failing to hold your president accountable.

      Twabwela - May 12, 2013

  40. The cobra escaped impeachment.

    Mr Facts - May 12, 2013

  41. I m also crying for my country my father told me never to trust sata but I thought I was clever,now everyday I regret 4 voting 4 this useless government.Father am sorry 4 not listening to your wise words I guess the good Lord did well to take you b4 sata became president of this republican.Madam chief justice you sold your soul the moment you delivered that bullshit judgment plus your boss winter kabimba is a bitch!

    mutuu ki mutu - May 12, 2013

  42. The beginning of the end for the dictatorship of Sata(n).God is watching. Wish he had spiritual advisors.Zambia Shall Be Saved.

    litiya kayula - May 12, 2013

  43. Rotten Executive+Rotten Judiciary+Rotten Legislature= One huge stench!

    CASSAVA REPUBLIC - May 12, 2013

  44. Who the hell these stupid opposition aligned intelligentia think they are? We are mandated to run the country the way we want. It is our time to eat (as elderly tonga bull Munkombwe rightly said). We will hire and fire anybody we want to. I am on the payrolls of mining companies, banks and investors who need favours.

    Let me leave a legacy of plunder. My name is Chikwanda, Chik (not chic) wanda.

    chik-wanda - May 12, 2013

  45. Urine bags are getting full at faster speed. Time to burst is fast approaching

    mincher - May 12, 2013

  46. Just accept that you supported F.O.O.Ls and now you can eat your humble pie

    TheEngineer (Australia) - May 12, 2013

    • The Engineer, let’s give the Professor a benefit of doubt. There are several different groups of people that were against the MMD; two of these groups comprise those that were genuinely opposed to the rot under the MMD and those that opposed the MMD because they were supporters of PF and are ok with the wrongs that the PF is perpetuating. Those that were genuinely opposed to the MMD way of doing things would still have their eyes and ears to see and hear the wrongs that Sata and his cohorts perpetuating and embracing. Some of these may still have a voice audible enough to get to Sata’s ears.

      Straight Talk Zambia - May 12, 2013

      • Correct!

        The Equalizer - May 12, 2013

      • Hi

        If you really think this mwachusa really cares about what he does to Zambia keep on dreaming..

        Have you ever deeply questioned where he comes from? The answer will tell you why he his doing what his doing…

        The problem is that Zambia is a very immature country… if not SATA would not have been elected president after so much warnings.

        He will be gone after destroying what has been achieved in 20 yrs

        Where on this earth have you seen a govern for 13million people with 80 ministers? do you think he his normal?

        TheEngineer (Australia) - May 12, 2013

  47. Judiciary, sold off to the executive indeed! That Lombe bitch is a disgrace of a Chief Justice. Plunderers in the Dbz case must be holding parties for the executive imposed victory. Celebrate while you can but your consciouse will never be clear!

    Oldmadala - May 12, 2013

  48. since the supreme court is the highest court in zambia,is there any option which can be taken to opose the ruling? ,eg exposing it to the relevant international bodies.

    rasta - May 12, 2013

  49. we need your legal opinion sir

    THREE ZEROS - May 12, 2013

  50. That old hag atase chibesa nkunda

    riddick - May 12, 2013