President Edgar Lungu and his Cabinet are mafias whose appetite for stealing and abusing public funds surpasses their ability to feel for the poor and vulnerable, says Civil Society for Constitution Agenda (CISCA) Chairperson Bishop John Mambo.

And Bishop Mambo says Zambia’s judicial system has been compromised and should be reformed during the constitutional refining process.

Bishop Mambo told News Diggers! in an interview that there was an insatiable love for money in the President Lungu-led regime.

“This country is already being run by mafias; the ones that will get money regardless of what it is meat for. There is love for money among this Lungu-led government such that they can’t think for the poor. The love of money has killed this nation because all of us in the name of money have become ‘Christians for Lungu, Christians for Hichilema’ and some are under the Christian nation tag. So, it’s actually the need for money that is killing this nation. The need of money in Zambia has invaded; that has invaded even the body of Christ. We are rotten in that [we] are always looking for money,” Bishop Mambo said.

“The Chilanga [by-] election are a true testimony that all these activities are about money and nothing else. Those who want to stand on those seats are only thinking about themselves. And so, sooner or later, we will review the happenings that causes all this. Because to leave a better country for my children and grandchildren, I must die a little. People are dying because of violence, and those committing violence need a little money. So even in the judicial system it’s the same. As long as our judicial system will have judges who are always checking how full their pockets are, we will have a poor system.”

He said Zambians should revisit the declaration of ‘Zambia as a Christian nation’ because the activities taking place are un-Christian.

“We need to go back to the prayer mountain, so that the nation of Zambia being a Christian nation must be revisited. I have come to UTH and I will pay K1,500 to go to fast truck, but there are poor Zambians who [can’t] afford to do that, a simple test. So, what could have happened if I was another person in the ruling circles, I would have said, ‘exempt me.’ Why exempt me when someone in Mandevu, someone in Mtendere and one in Kalingalinga is suffering? So, we need to reform our judicial system to boost public confidence. Our judges, once they have been found wanting, why keep that judge on the bench? So, because of that people are misbehaving, people are stealing with impunity. Of late, we have become a mafia state. Send a thief to catch a thief,” Bishop Mambo lamented.

And Bishop Mambo said Zambia’s judicial system had been compromised and it needed reform.

“We have very, very good judges. We have very good men and women on the bench, but slowly cancer is eating them because of too much love for money. We cannot allow mafias to run this country. We have nowhere to run to because when you run to the Church, the Church has been compromised. Any matter that goes to a single judge you know the outcome before the judgement has been passed. To me, it seems as if you know, the highest bidder carries the day. So, I think this dialogue, which is going to deal with the Constitution, which is going to deal with electoral reforms, it also has to deal with judicial reforms, to an extent that Zambia should never have a single judge system,” he narrated.

“I will give an example of the Church of God, right. They had a matter in Court, now they have no overseer no. What happened was they go to court, the High Court says, ‘we have put a restriction order you continue as overseer of the Church. Then the others appeal to remove that restriction order, they remove that restriction order, but without giving direction to say who is going to run the Church in the interim time. Whether the church, the American Church or the Zambian Church. That’s just an example. And then in many cases you go to court, they will just pass a judgement without giving you directions.”

He further observed a ‘Gupta-style’ state-capture prevailing in Zambia.

“So, the first that we have to do and demand as a country is we have been failed by the judicial system. When you talk about the corporate world, you have now been invaded by the Gupta-style of leadership. You have state capture at its highest because when you go to government officials, since corruption started at the highest office, they know what to do in order to get their way out. So, what will happen is the Zambian company will go under the bridge, but those who are coming with briefcases of monies and so on and so forth. Now when you go to court you expect to receive justice; this in Zambia will not work,” observed Bishop Mambo.

“What we need to see is; no single judge to judge the case. Have two judges, their opinion was not same. They will not come from the same Church, they won’t even have that time of entertaining what is evil. Because judging is a calling, it’s not a profession where you want to get those kickbacks. This is what killed [Dr Fred] M’membe in terms of newspapers. This is what is killing [Fresher] Siwale. But for proper reforms to take place, we need a jury system where people with integrity sit with the judge and following. We are all compromised now and only the Church, through the three mother bodies, that [offer] a little hope. The current scenario, there is no one spared.”