Govt has attacked the judiciary, says Nevers
MMD president Nevers Mumba has accused the government of launching an assault on the judiciary in order to reduce it into a rubber-stumping authority.
Speaking after the Lusaka High Court quashed Registrar of Societies Clement Andeleki’s decision to de-register his party for non-payment of annual returns amounting to K390 million, Dr Mumba praised the court for “professionalism in handling the de-registration case.”
“This explains why government has launched a heavy assault on the judiciary because they want to have a rubber-stamp judiciary. We would like the judiciary to remain impartial and continue to serve all sectors of the Zambian society,” Dr Mumba said.
Chembe Nyangu, deputy national secretary of the MMD, said the ruling was an indication of the independence of the country’s judiciary.
“We are praising the judiciary, that [it] is independent and cannot be intimidated by the executive. Recently, [the ruling party] wanted to intimidate the judiciary by appointing or removing the senior judiciary officers and appointing their own people, who they think should go by their leash by dictating that all judicial matters, which are before the court, should be ruled in their favor,” said Nyangu.
High Court judge Jane Kabuka yesterday quashed de-registration of the MMD by the Registrar of Societies Clement Andeleki on grounds that it lacked logic.
In delivering her judgement, Judge Kabuka said the Registrar’s decision was “so outrageous in its defiance of logic or moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it.”
“That in our democratic system of governance, it could not have been taken in good faith, as the effect of removing a major opposition political party from participating in the national politics would only amount to mutilation of the very tenets on which multiparty democracy thrives,” she said.
But Andeleki said his department would contest the matter in the Supreme Court stating that he was greatly dissatisfied with Judge Kabuka’s ruling.
Andeleki said the people of Zambia had been robbed of the justice they had been crying for, adding that he would not rest until justice prevailed overn the matter.
Andeleki who earlier declared that he would resign his position within 12 hours if the court ruled that he acted illegally in his decision, said Judge Kabuka had found that his action was within the confines of the law.
It is, however, not clear how Andeleki would proceed with the appeal.
In Zambia, a government officer does not have the power to appeal regarding a government matter. This power rests with the politicians and the Attorney General.
The MMD through national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe and 53 members of parliament contested the de-registration through their lawyers George Kunda and Company and Hobday Kabwe where they sought judicial review so that the court could overturn the decision of the registrar of societies.