Former Post Newspapers Editor Fred M’membe has lost his bid to have the Constitutional Court quash the decision of the Kitwe High Court to overrule the Judicial Complaints Commission to cite Judge Sunday Nkonde for misconduct.
M’membe had reported Nkonde to the Judicial Complaints Commission with the latter cited for misconduct but took the matter to the Kitwe High Court that entered a consent judgment.
Dissatisfied with the consent judgment, M’membe appealed to the Constitutional Court arguing that the Kitwe High Court had no power to overrule the Judicial Complaints Commission.
M’membe alleged that Judge Nkonde misconducted himself in the manner handled the matter between the Post Newspaper Limited and former Post Newspaper in liquidation employees Andrew Chimwenda and others.
The JCC instituted investigations into the complaint and wrote a letter to justice Nkonde requesting him to respond to the allegations as contained in the complaint.
Justice Nkonde declined to respond to the allegations on grounds that the allegations were a subject of an application by the petitioner under cause 2016 /HPC/0518.
The commission considered the evidence and found a prima facie case of misconduct had been established against the judge.
Justice Nkonde then took the matter before the Kitwe High Court against the Attorney General in which he challenged the JCC decision which found him with a case to answer for misconduct with the matter subsequently settled by the parties on December 5, 2017 through a consent judgment.
Aggrieved with the consent judgment, M’membe took the matter to the Constitutional Court challenging the jurisdiction of of the Kitwe High Court which heard and determined the 1st and 2nd Respondent’s actions.
The petitioner sought a declaration that the High Court in Kitwe did not have jurisdiction to hear and determine a matter relating to the exercise of the constitutional power by the JCC.
He also sought a declaration that the proceedings and orders made in the previous cases were a nullity.
A five member panel of Constitutional Court judges ruled that on the totality of the evidence before it and that of the Attorney General, the application to dismiss the petition has merit and succeeds because the petition is improperly before his court .