News / Africa

Zambia Law Group Demands Justice Minister Resign

Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, Jan. 2012 file photo.
Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, Jan. 2012 file photo.
Peter Clottey
The Law Association of Zambia has called for the resignation of Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba after a tribunal was established to investigate him over abuse of office.

James Banda, president of the law association, says the justice minister needs to step aside to ensure there is no political interference that could undermine the integrity of the tribunal’s inquiry.

“What will happen is that there would be officials from the ministry of justice who will testify against [Kabimba],” said Banda. “In a situation like that, obviously you cannot rule out that there would be intimidation or witnesses might feel uncomfortable to testify against their boss, especially if they see him every day at the office. It will be a very difficult scenario for those persons from the ministry of justice to go and testify,” said Banda.

Kabimba is also the general secretary of President Michael Sata’s ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party.

Zambia’s supreme court recently concluded that Kabimba used legal advice from the solicitor general’s office to influence the court to nullify the seats of opposition lawmakers so by-elections could be declared that favor the ruling (PF) party.  

A lawmaker and some civil society groups then petitioned the supreme court to form a tribunal to investigate the justice minister after accusing Kabimba of abuse of office and breaching his oath of secrecy, in which he declared to serve the interests of all Zambians irrespective of party affiliation. 

Kabimba welcomed the formation of the tribunal and promised full cooperation.  Banda praised Kabimba’s decision to cooperate with the tribunal, but says he should resign ahead of the inquiry.

“This is a serious matter which borders on abuse of office which is a criminal offense and the appointment of the tribunal itself is indicative that this is a serious matter which everybody should take seriously,” said Banda.

“The only way such an atmosphere can be created is where you have the person being investigated not being anywhere near position of influence which might seem to affect the proceedings of the tribunal.”

Banda says President Michael Sata could fire the justice minister to set an example of good governance.

There is however, no provision in Zambia’s constitution that forces a minister to go on leave pending an investigation. Only the president can make such a decision, according to Banda. 

But supporters of the justice minister dismissed the resignation demands saying he has yet to be convicted of any crime. They also contend that the minister should be allowed to continue doing his job since the tribunal is an independent body, which could not be politically influenced.

“We appreciate those comments and views by people,” said Banda. “Justice is more about perception.  [But] what if witnesses show up and testify in a way that is very suspicious and the facts on the ground speak differently?

"To allay all those suspicions, what is best is always that proceedings should move without any perception that there is intimidation of witnesses, or intimidation of the tribunal," said Banda. "That’s our view.”

Clottey interview with James Banda, President Zambia Law Association
Clottey interview with James Banda, President Zambia Law Associationi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid