Ndola High Court Judge Mwiinde Siavwapa yesterday granted an application by two High Court judges to commence judicial review challenging the legality of the tribunal constituted to probe their alleged professional misconduct.
This would also act as a stay of the tribunal proceedings which were scheduled to start on June 18, this year.
In his ruling delivered around 11:00 hours in chambers in Ndola yesterday, Justice Siavwapa granted Justices Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga leave to commence judicial review after hearing their application and the State’s response.
Justice Siavwapa said the same would operate as a stay of the pending tribunal whose preparations have reached an advanced stage.
This means the tribunal which was scheduled to commence sitting had been halted until further determination of the matter.
The two Lusaka judges are now seeking judicial review challenging the legality of the tribunal set up by President Michael Sata to probe the duo, together with Supreme Court Judge Philip Musonda for the alleged misconduct.
Lusaka High Court judge-in-charge, Jane Kabuka had allocated the matter to the Ndola High Court judge after Mr justices Mutuna and Kajimanga on May 20, 2013 applied to be granted leave to apply for judicial review challenging the legality of the tribunal.
Justice Kabuka first allocated the matter to Ndola-based Judge, Timothy Katenekwa who recused himself.
Justice Siavwapa commenced the proceedings yesterday and passed the said ruling.
Justices Mutuna and Kajimanga had contended that the tribunal should not be allowed to sit because it had no legal framework consistent with their constitutional rights.
The action by the two judges followed a majority judgment delivered by acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda on May 9, this year that Mr Sata did not abuse his constitutional powers to suspend them.
Source: Times of Zambia