UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has asked the Judiciary to reverse its decision to bar Constitutional Lawyer John Sangwa from appearing before any court in Zambia.
In a notice to all judges of the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, Registrars and Magistrates today, Acting registrar Prince Mwiinga announced that Sangwa would no longer be allowed to appear before any court pending determination of the Judiciary complaint against him to the Law Association of Zambia.
But in a statement, Sunday, Hichilema said the Judiciary should not be in the forefront of abrogating the rule of law in the country.
“We find the banning of State Counsel John Sangwa by the judiciary rather too harsh and draconian hence must be reversed immediately. The Judiciary must understand that they are supposed to be the last pillar standing, with which aggrieved citizens can run to, for support when our rights are being trampled upon as is the case with John Sangwa. Like any other institution, Judiciary are not above the supreme law of the land which is the constitution and should therefore not be at the forefront of abrogating the rule of law,” Hichilema said.
He said the decision by the Judiciary was an indication of a clear breakdown of the rule of law in Zambia.
“What they have done is an affront to civil liberties, not only against John Sangwa but against millions of other Zambians who feel the need to rise up and question some of decisions being made by the judicial system. The draconian manner in which the Judiciary has conducted itself by suspending John Sangwa SC without due process, and without hearing his side of the story is a clear testimony on the breakdown of the rule of law in Zambia,” said Hichilema.
“The Judiciary must therefore withdraw the caveat which prohibits Mr. John Sangwa in standing before the courts of law in Zambia, failure to which they are relegating themselves to a side that is working against the will of the people.”