By CHARLES TEMBO
The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has applied to join a petition in which Constitutional lawyer John Sangwa seeks an order which will compel the Finance minister to put in place measures to ensure that the judiciary is financially independent.
Lawyer John Sangwa petitioned the Constitutional Court wanting it to compel the Finance minister to put in place measures to ensure that the judiciary is financially independent and become self-accounting institution.
Sangwa SC wants this to be done within three months or such a period as the court may deem appropriate from the date of the order.
He further wants the court to order the Judiciary to ensure that it was adequately funded in every financial year in line with Article 123 ((2) of the Constitution.
Sangwa SC also seeks a declaration that Section three of the Act to the extent that it vests authority in the President to prescribe the emoluments of the judges was ultra vires Article 122 (2) and 123 (1) of the Constitution and therefore, null and void.
Meanwhile, LAZ has announced that it has studied Sangwa’s petition and was of the view that it raises serious constitutional issues that are the core of constitutionalism and administration of justice in Zambia.
In a statement, by LAZ honorary secretary Sokwani Chilembo, LAZ stated that it firmly believes that Sangwa’s petition fall well within its mandate under Section four of the Law Association of Zambia Act, Chapter 31 of the laws of Zambia.
“It is imperative for LAZ to join the proceedings. It is against this background that LAZ has made an application before the Constitutional Court to join the proceedings as 2nd petitioners to support the petition,” stated Chilembo.
“It is against this background that LAZ has made an application before the Constitutional Court to join the proceedings as 2nd Petitioner, to support the Petition.”
In his petition, Sangwa SC invited the court to consider specific provisions of the Constitution that relate to autonomy of the Judiciary.