REDEFINING JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE AND A CALL FOR PATRIOTIC OBJECTIVITY
By Daimone Siulapwa
In the current setup of Zambian politics, the discourse surrounding the judiciary’s impartiality often becomes entangled in the web of partisan perspectives.
While it is essential to scrutinize the actions of the government, including judicial appointments, fostering a narrative that undermines the integrity of the judiciary can prove detrimental to the very fabric of our democracy.
The assertion that judges appointed by a particular president will inevitably rule in favor of that administration is a prevailing sentiment that demands reevaluation by all of us.
As things stand, it is now critical that we shift our focus from who appointed judges to fostering confidence in our judicial system.
The constitutional obligation of President Hakainde Hichilema or any other president for that matter to appoint judges should not be tainted by assumptions of inherent bias.
The appointment of judges is a fundamental aspect of our democracy, aimed at ensuring a balanced and diverse judiciary capable of upholding the rule of law.
This responsibility does not automatically translate into a judiciary predisposed to favoring the appointing authority.
Drawing from the past history of judicial appointments under the Edgar Lungu’s administration, it becomes evident that the judiciary exercised its independence by delivering rulings both in favor of and against the government.
This underscores the importance of recognizing judges as individuals committed to upholding the principles of justice, rather than mere extensions of the appointing authority’s will.
It is important to understand that the judiciary plays a pivotal role in providing checks and balances to the government.
By perpetuating the narrative that judges are inherently biased based on their appointing authority, we risk eroding public trust in the judiciary and compromising its ability to act independently.
In advocating for a more objective discourse, let us consider the diverse range of judgments delivered by judges appointed under different administrations.
Acknowledging that rulings can swing in favor or against the government highlights the judiciary’s commitment to its constitutional mandate rather than aligning with political affiliations.
The current conversations that insinuate partiality and partisanship within the judiciary not only undermine the credibility of our legal system but also contribute to the erosion of patriotism.
As a good governance activist, it is my responsibility to promote an environment where confidence in our institutions prevails over divisive political narratives.
Partisan politics, when unchecked, can have disastrous consequences for our nation.
It is imperative that we rise above political allegiances and engage in discussions that prioritize the well-being of Zambia.
Our commitment to objective discourse should not only be a call to scrutinize the government but also an encouragement to appreciate the intricacies of the judicial system.
Patriotism should guide our conversations, fostering a sense of national unity rather than perpetuating divisions based on political lines.
As we discuss issues that shape our country’s future, let us remember that our collective interest lies in the strength and resilience of our democratic institutions.
Daimone Siulapwa is a political analyst, an advocate for tribal unity and Citizen Economic Empowerment. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org