The Lusaka High Court has stayed proceedings of a judicial tribunal appointed by President Michael Sata to investigate the alleged misconduct of a Supreme Court judge and two High Court judges in a case that has been criticized as judicial interference on behalf of the government.
High Court judge Flugence Chisanga signed an application for the accused judges to seek judicial review in the matter on grounds that the tribunal was illegal and premature.
Suspended high court judges Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga applied for leave to apply for judicial review in the High Court and cited the Attorney General Mumba Malila as the respondent in the matter.
Judge Chisamba made the ruling this afternoon in chambers, granting two judges permission to have their case reviewed.
“It is hereby ordered that the applications be and are hereby granted leave to apply for judicial review,” Judge Chisanga said. “And further ordered that the leave so granted shall operate as a stay of the decision of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia to appoint a Tribunal, to suspend the applicants and any adverse measures against the applicants who are citizens of the Republic of Zambia in relation to the performance of their constitutional duties as duly appointed judges serving the High Court of judicature for Zambia pending the full determination of this matter until any further direction by this honourable court.”
Speaking today in an interview with Zambia Reports, opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema denounced Sata’s tribunal as a form of corruption.
“We are all for judicial reform, but when you have a president that is using judicial reform as camouflage for a private agenda, circumventing rules of due process of institute a Tribunal in order to help his friends Nchito and M’Membe escape their debts to Zambian taxpayers, that is and of itself a form of corruption,” Hichilema said. “This is clearly payback time from the campaign – they scratched his back, now he’ll scratch theirs. And what message does this send to other judges in the country? They will conclude that if they ever rule against the perceived interests of the president or The Post, they will lose their jobs.”
The two judges are being represented by high profile Lusaka lawyers Eric Silwamba & Company and Shamwana & Company.
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