Malawian Judge and chief adjudicator at the Commercial Court justice Lovemore Chikopa, who was recently appointed by Zambian President Michael Sata to head a tribunal that will probe three suspended judges, says he is ready for the task ahead of him and will ensure that he will grease the wheels of justice to spin in a right direction.
“I am equal to the challenge and ready for task,” said Justice Chikopa briskly.
Justice Chikopa who leaves Lilongwe for Lusaka this week told Nyasa Times that his appointment to head the tribunal in Zambia speaks volumes about the Malawian Judiciaryt that it has a good reputation beyond the borders.
“I’m going to Zambia to do my country, the people of Malawi and the Malawi judiciary proud. I will work diligently and within the precincts of law, deliver justice,” said Justice Chikopa.
Zambian leader Sata recently allotted Justice Chikopa to chair a tribunal tasked to probe suspended Supreme Court Judge Phillip Musonda and High Court judges Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna for alleged professional misconduct and delinquency.
Justice Chikopa is widely known in Malawi for delivering remarkable judgements.
However his appointment has been received with mixed feelings from a cross section of Zambians with sections of the opposition resisting it, while many interest groups, including the Law Association of Zambia, see nothing wrong with it.
Asked at the assertions that he is too junior to head a tribunal which is tasked to probe a case involving two senior judges from the Zambian Supreme Court, Justice Chikopa laughed off saying for any judge no case is small or big because it is a matter of determining justice adding that he has enough experience and qualified expertise to competently handle the matter.
“The law will take its course in this matter based on natural justice. I will ensure that the wheels of justice will move in a just manner,” said Justice Chikopa.
He will be assisted in the case by retired judges Naboth Mwanza and Thomas Ndhlovu.
But Justice Chikopa was quick to say that heading the Zambian tribunal is a challenge that he is not taking lightly emphasizing that he will approach it with respect, integrity and its due gravity.
“I am not looking at it as a personal achievement, rather it is national duty. This is not about me as an individual it is about my country Malawi and a lot of other stakeholders. I am proud that the Zambian government has invested its trust into the Malawi Judiciary.
“ I will do the best of my ability to face the challenge and to prove those who think otherwise about Malawian Judges. All the Zambian government is asking is justice and I on behalf of the Malawi Judiciary will administer justice with due impartiality. This means that the Malawian Judiciary is doing something commendable in this part of Africa,” said Justice Chikopa.
He added: “I’m also happy and proud that President Sata and his government have confidence in my professional aptitude. This is great for our country, but it must also be noted that Malawian Judges are professional and over the years have done tremendous job in other countries within the continent and beyond.”
Justice Chikopa however said that he is aware of huge responsibility that lies ahead of him adding that the way he will conduct himself over the matter will stamp a cemented authority of respect on the Malawian judiciary.
“It is a challenge and I am not under-estimating the assignment put before me. If I approach the task with respect, then it will give me back respect,” he said.
Justice Chikopa says the issue is a transparent matter adding that nothing will be done in secret.
“It is not something we are going to do secretly. We will handle the matter candidly,” he stated.
The tribunal is expected to complete its task within two weeks of commencing the probe, according to Justice Chikopa.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :