A Malawi High Court judge Lovemore Chikopa, appointed to head a tribunal in Zambia to investigate three suspended judicial officals, has promised a fair and balanced hearing, local media reported Tuesday.
President Michael Sata last week suspended Supreme Court judge Philip Musonda and high court judges Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga over their conduct in a civil case involving the Development Bank of Zambia as complainant and The Post Newspapers Limited, Mutembo Nchito and JNC holdings Limited as defendants.
President Sata has consequently set up a tribunal to be led By Mr Chikopa to investigate the alleged misconduct of the three judges.
“I have made that my hallmark ever since I started off as a judicial assistant. I make sure everybody gets the fairest of hearing. I will make sure about that," Judge Chikopa told the privately owned The Post.
'Knew each other well'
“It would be a very courageous politician who would try to influence me (laughter)… I cannot blow my own horn so to speak, I would let others do that, and those that are convinced that I am impartial and so on and so on will probably say so."
The tribunal shall generally inquire into the conduct of Justice Nigel Kalonde Mutuna in relation to the manner in which he presided over the hearing and determination of the case of Development Bank of Zambia versus The Post Newspapers Limited, JCN Holdings Limited and Mutembo Nchito.
When asked why he had chosen to appoint a foreign judge to head the tribunal, President Sata said local ones “knew each other well”.
His move to suspend the three judges came at the height of numerous calls for reforms in the Judiciary.