Chief Justice Mumba Malila needs to step up before Zambia descends into another round of lawlessness-ZBT

Mumba Malila

Zambia Business Times

CJ Malila needs to step up before Zambia descends into another round of lawlessness

We have been observing what has been happening as far as the current ruling party – UPND and it’s main opposition and immediate former ruling party PF have been at each others throat in the political ring of dirty games.

We as ardent students of history are alive to the history that UNIP destroyed their main opposition in ANC, MMD facilitated directly or indirectly the destruction of their main opposition and at the time the immediate former ruling party – UNIP.

PF also followed through this trend and ensured that MMD who was their main opposition and immediate former ruling party was put to death. We are also not surprised that UPND is today active in injecting poison to kill the PF.

Since it’s well known that most politicians (ruling or opposition) are selfish and would care less for the majority of Zambians, the question we need to collectively ask ourselves as Zambian citizens is whether this is the kind of history we need to preserve in our national politics, where getting a second term is predicated on destroying the main opposition party?

Has this trend of destroying the main opposition worked for the wider population or only served the few in top positions of the ruling party to help themselves for a longer time (two terms or more) to convert state resources to personal wealth?

How do we collectively mobilize to come up with a political system that rewards politicians that deliver for the majority national interests than just perpetuate internal divisions, pit one region against the other, while the economy remains stagnant? When we meet in family meeting, we are one and intermarried and intertwined in destiny.

What we have observed is that this destruction of the main opposition has only served to keep Presidents and party’s that have failed to deliver on expectations in power for longer than the majority of voting age citizens tolerate.

We can also argue that UPND, like PF before them, like former ruling parties MMD and UNIP has also found itself in a position where it’s clear even to themselves that they will not be able to deliver on their campaign promises in their first 5 year term.

The only way UPND stands a better chance to win re-election in 2026 is to use the historically known formula of eliminating the main opposition. Compete with a patched up and disorganized opposition to retain political power.

UPND is even now faced with the never settled Barotseland separation issue. This potent political issue is now from one of their own strongholds in terms of votes amassed in the 2021 general elections, threatening to split their historical voting block.

But if one looks at the poverty levels, the state of infrastructure, lack of factories and industries, youth employment now compounded by the increased costs of living and cost of doing business, it’s clear why Western and Luapula, the bottom two regions in terms of economic development – are political hotspots.

If increased CDF was really excellent, Western Province has the highest number of constituencies and therefore receives the biggest allocation. But it’s clear that the increased CDF impact and the fact that the Western Province which receives the biggest chunk remains unsatisfied, speaks volumes that CDF despite being a big play for UPND, has serious limitations. More is needed.

It is for these various reasons that we are joining the call for the Chief Justice Mumba Malila to step in, not allow the Judiciary to be used to settle political scores. Zambia’s have rejected overzealous Vigilantees in UNIP, violent Carders in MMD and PF. The public has equally rejected brainless Praise Singers in UPND in preference for realistic and unbiased citizenship and public officials.

It’s important to note that all the previous eliminations of the main opposition have been executed with the collusion of the Judiciary. This is why we find academic Shishua Sishua argument of Cherry picking of Judges article to deserve serious consideration by well meaning intellectuals and independent minds.

From our deep observation, today as things stand, the executive arm of government has fallen into the proverbial political trap and is viewed as outrightly biased and incapable of serving the diverse national and regional interests.

They have allowed themselves to be cowed into serving partizan interests as opposed to apolitical national interests. They are slowly and gradually losing legitimacy even from most independent of their own supporters.

Fast forward to the Legislature, the speaker is seen to have also caught up in the project of destruction of the former ruling party which happens to be the biggest opposition political party by changing office holders in the national assembly even before the registrar of societies had amended the records. This evidence is all in public domain.

What is remaining today as we write this article is the Judiciary. At least, we are seeing the opposition political players running to this third arm of government to seek redress for their grievances.

This in itself shows that their is belief that the Judiciary is still able to protect citizens rights over and above political affiliation. Law and order is seen to be only remaining with this very important arm of government – the Judiciary.

If the Judiciary also allows itself to be used as a playground for settlement of political scores, then we will have a situation were opposition players will remain with no option but to mobilize through unorthodox or to be brunt, illegal means.

This is a recipe for chaos, for lawlessness and it’s for this reason that we join calls for the Chief Justice Mumba Malila to step up and save the country from descending into chaos.

Below is the article that exposes these concerns. What Zambia needs are leaders to solve the complex challenges and not how leaders should stay in power longer than citizens desire.

Are judges being cherry-picked to hear PF cases?

By Sishuwa Sishuwa

Why are all the court cases – three in the Lusaka High Court, one in the Constitutional Court – involving the State-supported Miles Sampa versus the main opposition Patriotic Front only given to Lozi-speaking judges?

The first case was allocated to Timothy Katanekwa – a Lozi speaker. The second case was allocated to Situmbeko Chocho – a Lozi speaker. The third one, which is before the Constitutional Court, was allocated to Kenneth Mulife – a Lozi speaker.

The most recent case concerning 7 PF members (and presidential hopefuls) who have petitioned the legality of the convention that elected Sampa to the party leadership, has been allocated to Sililo Siloka – a Lozi. Is this a coincidence or it is all planned?

What is it that Lozi-speaking judges have that judges from other ethnic groups do not have? What makes, say, Bemba-speaking judges or those hailing from Eastern Province unqualified to hear and determine matters involving the PF versus Miles Sampa?

In addition to a shared province of origin and ethnic-language identity, three of the four judges handling PF cases – that is Situmbeko, Mulife, and Sililo – were all appointed to their current roles by President Hakainde Hichilema in 2023. The only exception is justice Katanekwa who was appointed High Court judge by Frederick Chiluba in 1996 but was just recently suspended from his position by Hichilema.

If the argument is that the trio has a rather limited case load, why is it that judges from the other ethnic groups who were appointed alongside them are being overlooked for these general cases? Is there a fear that judges hailing from the Eastern and Bemba-speaking provinces cannot be trusted to hear and determine PF matters in an impartial manner? If there is none, then how best should we understand the fact that it is only Lozi-speaking judges who are being asked to deliberate on PF matters?

And given the gravity of the outcome of the cases to the fate of Zambia’s democracy and party system, especially the case given to Sililo, what explains the failure by Lusaka High Court Judge-in-Charge for general allocations, Charles Zulu, to assign these cases to a diverse set of experienced judges (– and there are many justices available from different ethnic groups!)?

Similarly, why did Mweetwa Shilimi – another Hichilema appointee who was simultaneously promoted as Deputy President of the Constitutional Court, the official responsible for case allocation – overlook all the experienced judges on the Concourt bench for the recently appointed justice Mulife?

Are judges from the ‘Zambezi region’ – where the President comes from – seen as more likely than those from a different region to make decisions that would favour President Hichilema, who, as I have previously shown in the article below, appears to be the driving force behind Miles Sampa and the PF leadership wrangles?

If they are not seen this way, then how best should we understand the continued allocation of cases involving Sampa and the PF to relatively inexperienced judges who have only been in their positions a matter of months.


  1. In your own opinion, you may have a point, but if this be the approach by the judiciary, to look at the tribe of the persons in particular cases when allocating judges, then we are going back to practicing tribalism which we are discouraging as Zambians.
    You may be a PF steward, but let courts do their jobs unlike having choices of who you want to hear your cases. No, what kind of thinking is that? We have said as Zambians, one Zambia, one Nation.
    If you are a politician, you are the chaps that start wars of tribalism every time there are bent opinions to equate or to deliberately align tribal thinking to issues.
    Why can’t you for once let issues flow as can be allowed to.
    You want to practice tribalism in everything. What ever you are please stop that king of thought.

  2. PeeEfu in their rampant greed and lawlessness destroyed themselves, ECL being the chief destroyer. They individually and collectively failed to adhere to the simple rules regulating or governing the conduct of associations and political parties. All they had to do was hold a convention and submit the names of the office bearers to the regulators. They failed in this simple requirement, so Miles Sampa went and held his own convention.

    How this catalogue of self inflicted failure has reached the door or feet of Malila Mumba is reasoning at a level below that of documented mental patient. It is malignant stupidity to try and twist the narrative because failing to correctly identify the cause will guarantee failure to correct the challenge. Trying to twist the narrative and demonising HH or anyone else other than PeeEfu themselves will not solve anything. Just point the finger in the right direction.


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