NGOCC board chairperson Sara Longwe says President Edgar Lungu’s recent statement about ConCourt judges is symptomatic of power hungry African leaders who want to cling to power at all costs.

In a statement today, Longwe condemned President Lungu’s intimidating statement noting that it was meant to put undue pressure on the Judiciary.

“The Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) condemns in the strongest terms the intimidating statement attributed to President Edgar Lungu against the ConCourt judges. In this statement, made while addressing his political party members in Solwezi on Thursday, 2nd November, 2017, the President presumed to instruct ConCourt on how it should take decisions on a crucial constitutional matter that is currently before the Court. The President’s statement went further to suggest that there were Zambian court judges who are collaborating with a section of the international community to bar him from standing in the 2021 election. This is a clear and grievous breach of the constitutional principle of the separation of power between the executive and the judiciary,” Longwe stated.

“The president’s statement is obviously intended to put undue pressure on the Judiciary to interpret the Constitution in his favour and even seems to warn of some unspecified sanction if the ConCourt rules against him. The statement is symptomatic of the growing trend by power hungry African leaders who want to cling to power at whatever cost.”

She advised the Head of State to spend more time bettering the lives of the people.

“We therefore support the recent statement by the Law Association of Zambia demanding that the President stops this unconstitutional interference with our courts of law. Instead we suggest that the President should spend more of his time on improving the living conditions of all the women and children in this country who currently live in deplorable and desperate conditions,” stated Longwe.