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Chief Justice Malila bemoans distractions caused by politicians, as courts sort political cases


Chief Justice Mumba Malila, has expressed concern over the increasing number of political lawsuits in Courts on disputes that can be settled at party level.

Justice Malila noted that the judiciary had been turned into a political battle ground to settle matters that politicians can solve in their party courts.

He said this at the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court held at Kenneth Kaunda International Conference Center in Lusaka, Wednesday.

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“We are seeing an increase of referral to courts on matters which are dealing in politics, which would have been settled at political level, this has become the order of the day. Matters that can be dealt with by politicians in their courts has now been brought into the arena of the Judiciary,” he said.

The Chief Justice said in intraparty democracy, issues such as conventions are provisions that should be respected by parties themselves, but such end up in Court.

He also expressed dismay at traditional disputes in Courts which take long to determine, when these issues are capable of been settled by traditional courts.

Meanwhile, former Chief Justice, Enerst Sakala, and ex-Deputy Chief Justice, Marvin Mwanawambwa, said the creation of the Court of Appeal had rendered the Supreme Court redundant.

He argued that it had made the process of litigation lengthy and expensive to reach the Supreme Court.

“In my view, the Court of Appeal should not be there. Reconstitute the Supreme Court to accommodate the Constitutional Court. Right now, the Constitutional Court Judges are not doing much, they have to wait for the next elections,” he said.

Justice Malila revealed the Supreme Court had to wait for an appeal or two from the Court of Appeal after a considerable period of time, which had made the Judges been under-utilised.

He proposed the review of the provisions in the Constitution that created the Constitutional Court and Court of Appeal as these affected the mandate of the Supreme Court.

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