SANAC executive director Gregory Chifire has insisted that Zambia’s Judiciary is at its lowest.
Yesterday, Supreme Court judges, led by Deputy Chief Justice Marvin Mwanamwamba sentenced Chifire to 6 years imprisonment after convicting him of contempt.
Chifire was charged with four counts of contempt of court after he allegedly wrote to Chief Justice, Irene Mambilima and caused to be published two articles in the Zambian Watchdog and another one in The Mast Newspaper concerning the judgement of the Savenda vs Stanbic Bank case.
In count one, Chifire was accused of causing to be published an article on the Zambian Watchdog headlined “Mambilima is the most corrupt judge”.
In the said article, Chifire charged that Chief Justice Irene Mambilima was presiding over the most corrupt judiciary in the history of post independent Zambia.
He accused Chief Justice Mambilima of ignoring corruption evidence against judges who presided over the Savenda vs Stanbic Bank case.
“A lot of money is alleged to have exchanged hands, and is still exchanging hands even thus time around just to suppress justice, all under the watch of her Lordship the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice ought to allow her subordinates cited in this case to be probed,” read part of the story.
“She needs to suspend the judges and allow for a tribunal against them…if anything, citizens will begin to think the Chief Justice was also a beneficiary.”
In count two, Chifire allegedly committed contempt of court when he wrote to Chief Justice Mambilima concerning the matter.
“I submit to your office that this Supreme Court judgment has affected the delivery of the justice system in Zambia and if the judgement is allowed to stand in view of the glaring omissions on the part of the Supreme Court, it has a potential to inhibit justice and development jurisprudence,” read part of Chifire’s letter to Chief Justice Mambilima on May 10, 2018.
In count three, Chifire is accused of causing to be published another article on Zambian Watchdog, disparaging the judiciary, on June 15, 2018.
And in the fourth and final count, Chifire is accused of causing to be published an article in The Mast Newspaper an article headlined “Judiciary one of the most corrupt in Zambia” on July 2, 2018.
But Chifire, who reportedly went into exile before judgment was passed, insisted in a Facebook posting that Zambia’s Judiciary was at its lowest.
“We have always known that our Judiciary is at its lowest. This Judgment only goes to confirm that view. [I] am not guilty. I shall walk with my head high, I shall walk tall. I shall always speak ‘the right’. After all it is our sacred right to express ourselves. No rightful court under heaven has right to deprive citizens of their freedoms. These are some of the execesses that we must never allow to be championed in our Country. I will never sacrifice my people’s freedoms at the alter of expedience. ‘I would rather die at my post’. We need to tell the truth as it is. We need to stand against tyranny,” wrote Chifire.
“I seek not sympathy. I seek justice. Not for me, but the greater good of society.
The decisions that we make now, have far reaching consequence for the future. The sacrifices we make now, we may never enjoy them in our life time but, the future generations. Yes sacrifice we must, otherwise we shall never see the luminous summit. Many may not understand now. Its not about seeking to please the many, but to do and fight for what is right. After all its not always that the majority are right. The big visions have not been seen by the majority, but by the commitment of a vision carrier. We shall fight till we win. We shall never stop. They say winners never quit, quitters never win. Ours is a long term agenda of contributing towards a better Zambia. Individuals will come and go, but Zambia shall remain till God’s time.”