JUDICIAL Complaints Commission (JCC) chairman William Nyirenda State Counsel says the law currently does not allow for the advertisement of the Chief Justice position.
And Nyirenda says the state’s decision to invoke section 80 of the Anti-Corruption Act in Faith Musonda’s matter might have been for the good of the nation.
Commenting on debates regarding the mode of appointment of Chief Justice, Nyirenda said that remained the prerogative of the President in consultation with the JCC.
“The Minister of Justice (Mulambo Haimbe) has put that discussion to bed, what he said is the prevailing law. Good as the suggestion may appear to be, presently our law does not allow such. Going forward, perhaps it might be an item for consideration but presently we have no provision for such in our laws. I am not saying that (John) Sangwa’s position is ridiculous, no. All I am saying is that the present position of the law does not allow for such a procedure. The appointment of the Chief Justice remains the prerogative of the President in consultation with the Judicial Service Commission,” Nyirenda said.
And on the possession of Musonda’s K65 million, Nyirenda said he believed the State had good reasons to invoke that section of the Constitution.
“Well, I suppose the State had good reasons to invoke that section. It is within their discretion for those investigative authorities, it is within their discretion if they think it is for the good of the nation to invoke section 80. You and I don’t know the reasons behind the invocation of Section 80 of the Anti-Corruption Act but I suppose they are in a more privileged position to know why they did that. But I would like to think that the overriding consideration is the good of the nation. It is the discretion which they exercise. We don’t know the information they used to exercise that discretion. We are not privy to the reason why; they haven’t told us the reason why they invoked section 80. But I would like to believe that the invocation of section 80 is premised on the national good,” said Nyirenda.
“It depends on the reasons behind that invocation. If we were privileged to know the reason why the investigative wings are behaving like that, it will be very difficult for us to comment. Because this is part of their investigations and sometimes when you are doing investigations, you invoke such kind of steps in order to achieve a better good for the country. It could be that they have come across certain information which they do not want to divulge, for purposes of further investigations in other matters, or it could be that they are happy with what they have achieved. It could be that they are happy with the information that they have extracted from the suspect. You and I will never know unless the investigative wings reveal their reasons for taking that course of action.”
Last week, the State disclosed that it had entered into an undertaking not to institute criminal proceedings against former ZNBC broadcaster Faith Musonda after she admitted wrongdoing and surrendered the K65 million, US$57,900 and a house in New Kasama, which properties were acquired through corrupt practices.
According to a statement issued by Anti-Corruption Commission public relations officer Jonathan Siame, Thursday, Section 80 of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012 allows the State to grant amnesty to accused persons in certain instances on condition that they admit wrongdoing and return what they wrongfully acquired through corrupt practices.