By Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba
The matter in which the Director of Public Prosecutions (suspended), Mrs. Lillian Shawa-Siyuni is challenging the decision to deny her a waiver on her Oath of Secrecy is coming up at the Lusaka High Court Conference Room this morning.
Strangely, the Judicial Complaints Commission has also set 09;00hrs as the time to hear her case in which a prima facie case was earlier established against her.
President Hakainde Hichilema, upon receiving the recommendations from the JCC suspended Mrs. Shawa-Siyuni.
Mrs. Shawa-Siyuni was not heard and did not appear before the JCC yet a determination was made against her. This is despite her plea for a waiver and that her Judicial Review case.on the Waiver has not been determined by the High Court.
The JCC is expected to hear this matter in seven days and make final recommendations to the President for possible removal of the DPP.
This “fast track” process has already seen the dismissal of two High Court Judges by President Hichilema, namely; Sunday Nkonde SC and Mr. Joshua Banda.
In the past the removal of a Judge or the DPP required a Tribunal as was done in the Mutembo Nchito case where former Supreme Court Justice, Anel Silungwe headed a tribunal to hear the complaint. It is not so with the new powers given to the President in Articles 144(5)(b) and 144(3) of the Constitution.
Clearly the JCC is degenerating into a kangaroo court, confirming fears that it is becoming a sharpened tool of the Executive to deal with Judicial officers the Executive deems not-user-friendly!
The circus at the JCC will inadvertently erode the independence and impartiality of the Judiciary and the security of tenure for its officers.
The sacred and sacrosanct role of this branch of government to administer Justice cannot be over-phasised. Its wider role in the promotion of Democracy, promotion of human rights and the Rule of Law and not of men,is important.
However with this JCC, this role of the Judiciary may be frightened back into a branch of government intimidated to push the inimical agenda of the Executive.