Justice Said Chitembwe has defended his position and past rulings on defilement cases.
Appearing before the Judicial Service Commission for interviews on the Chief Justice position, Justice Chitebwe posed, “What is the practicality of convicting a 19-year-old man for having a relationship with a 17-year-old?”
He added, “In our prisons there are more convicts of defilement than those of robbery with violence.
The judge clarified that as much as the law against defilement is sacrosanct (age of consent starts at 18 years), practicality of the issue must be considered.
In a past ruling, Martin Charo, 24, was set free in spite of having had sex with a 13-year-old girl. The accused had initially been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Justice Chitembwe ruled that the child appeared “willing to have sex with the defendant”.
Further, Justice Chitembwe who has a long experience in the Judiciary defended his work ethic, musing, “At some point, I overworked myself to the extent that I became diabetic.”
He said if picked as the next Chief Justice, he will shortened the time it takes to clear corruption cases in the country. “I have never understood why corruption cases take up to five years but someone’s child who stole a phone is convicted right away,” said Justice Chitembwe.