JUDGE KATANEKWA’S SUSPENSION AN ACT OF INTIMIDATION- MUNDUBILE
Friday, 29 December 2023
Mporokoso Member of Parliament Brian Mundubile says he is saddened by the suspension of Lusaka High Court Judge Timothy Katanekwa, which he says is a form of intimidation.
On Wednesday, President Hakainde suspended Judge Katanekwa from office, acting on the recommendation in a report presented to him by the Judicial Complaints Commission.
The suspended judge is also handling the matter in which Miles Sampa sued Nickson Chilangwa and Given Lubinda, challenging their initial positions of acting secretary general and acting president of PF, respectively.
In an interview, Thursday, Mundubile said he had always been concerned about the composition of the JCC.
“From the beginning, we had raised issues concerning the composition of the Judicial Complaints Commission. The composition was such that members of that commission would be drawn from management Or central committee. We raised an issue that going forward, what we’ll see is that there will be an intimidation of the judges. And for sure what we have seen in the recent past is that there has been a lot of intimidation on the commission in the manner in which the disciplinary cases are handled.
The Judiciary goes to defend rights, asserts rights of citizens and indeed anchors the Constitution of democracy. So when that arm of government is operating under fear because of any institution like JCC, you have a lot of challenges.
It results in judges working under duress when it comes to matters,” he said.
“So, the case of judge Katenekwa is actually an example. There are few other cases that you can refer to including the handling of the case of the former DPP. So, indeed it is a source of worry and concern especially that the judges that appear before the JCC are those that may be handling sensitive matters that are
not in the best interest of the government or the UPND as a party.
So, we saw the suspension of judge Katenekwa and we are saddened by what appeared to be an intimidation of judges (which] has continued”
Mundubile added that the composition of JCC must be critically analysed.
“The composition of JCC must be very critically analysed. I think their handling of matters is a part that also needs to be looked at critically and [there] may be need to analyse the nature of the judges that have appeared before the commission to see that what is happening at JCC will amount to intimidation of judges,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mundubile said he had seen the efforts made by the UPND government to try and destroy PF.
“The writing is clear on the wall. We have seen the efforts that have been made by the government to try and destroy the PF. I think there are several examples that [show that] the UPND is determined to destroy the PF knowing very well that it is the largest opposition political party and also being aware that their performance has been rated very poor compared to the performance of the PF to the people. So they have resorted to deteriorate PF as a party, said Mundubile.
(Credit: News Diggers)