The Zambia Union of Government and Allied Workers has risen to defend President Edgar Lungu’s remarks on the Judiciary saying that yielding to outside influence is sacrificing judicial independence.

At the media briefing today, UG president Muyaywa Kabisa said trivializing President Lungu’s ‘advice’ to judges was paying a blind eye to issues of state capture.

“We solidly stand with the many Zambians, including the republican President, who have called upon the judiciary not to be influenced by outside forces in the execution of its duties. Yielding to outside influence in the execution of judicial functions is sacrificing judicial independence at the altar of state captors and has the potential to make Zambians lose confidence in their institutions of governance. We find the president’s call on the judiciary not to yield external forces in the execution of their duties as falling squarely. It is the duty of our brothers and sisters in public offices, or those aspiring for public office seeking to comment on a matter of public interest to always consider the likely influence of their statements,” Kabisa said.

“Many institutions and many individuals in our country have spoken against external influences on our institutions of governance such as the Judiciary, the Legislature, the Executive and other agencies of the state. The International Community has identified external interference as one of the causes of most African countries political instability. Therefore, trivializing any advice to our institutions of governance to guide against external influence is giving a blind eye to the dangers of state capture. We know that it is always in the interest of wealthy people to capture and control institutions of governance for the sake of their capitalistic interests. Zambia should not be left to die at the hands of those that have placed personal benefits above national interests. Zambians should not lose their right to freely govern themselves because of person’s pursuing self-centered interests.”

He urged Zambians to defend and protect their country’s governance structures from foreign forces that had greedy intentions.

“There is need for the people of Zambia, the Trade Unions and the workers in Zambia, to defend and protect Zambia’s governance structures from foreign forces that may be thirsty to capture our state for their greedy ends. There is need to defend and protect our systems of governance. Zambians should not lose their right to freely govern themselves because of persons vigorously pursuing self centered interests. Let Zambia manage her own affairs free from external interference. Let the will of the people prevail at all costs,” Kabisa said.

“Look at the current happenings in our country where even after an election declared free and fair by both local and international monitors, agitation tailored to regime change is being sounded. We fear for our country Zambia when we ponder on the question of State Capture. What we knew in this country since independence is that after an election, the country returned to its normal operations. Surprisingly this time, it appears as though we are in the election year. We are seeing political leaders on each other’s throats and we are hearing calls for regime change barely two years after elections. This is not anywhere different from what prevails when attempts to capture the state by wealthy and influential capitalists are vigorously pursued. We fear for our country.”

He said judges must be sensitive to external forces.

“There is an evil wind of corporate state capture blowing across Africa and some countries outside Africa. Wealthy corporations and in some cases states that are already captured by these corporations are seeking the removal of legitimately elected governments. The challenges in Zimbabwe and Kenya but to mention a few where these concerns have been raised should stand as examples to Zambia. The judiciary should be sensitive to and must rise above corporate state capture and guide against it for the sake of Zambians,” said Kabisa.