Top Zambia judges sent home over alleged misconductBy MICHAEL CHAWE in Lusaka | Monday, April 30 2012 at 19:20
Zambia President Michael Sata late Monday suspended one Supreme Court and two High Court judges for alleged misconduct.
President Sata appointed a tribunal chaired by Malawi High Court judge Justice Lovemore Chikopa to investigate the three judges.
The move comes in the wake of numerous calls for reforms in the Zambian Judiciary.
“Since the election of the PF (Patriotic Front) Government in September, last year I have received numerous representations and complaints about corruption in the judiciary and the need for the government to do something about these complaints,” President Sata told journalists during a briefing at State House.
“In this regard, I have received credible complaints against their Lordships Justices Philip Musonda, Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna, and have accordingly decided to appoint a tribunal to investigate allegations of misbehaviour or incompetence of the said judges, pursuant to the powers vested in me under the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia. The said judges will, accordingly, be suspended pending the recommendations of the tribunal.”
President Sata said he considered it necessary to set up a tribunal to investigate the three judges pursuant to the Provisions of Article 98(3) of the constitution.
He said some complaints emanated from the Law Association of Zambia, individual legal practitioners and members of the public.
The government had been slow to act on the allegations because the integrity and independence of the judiciary was an important principal it was not willing to violate, President Sata added.
President Sata said it was important that specific and credible allegations were investigated to start reclaiming the tarnished image of the Judiciary.
Asked why he chose a foreign judge to chair the tribunal, President Sata said local ones “knew each other well”.
According to some reasons cited, the tribunal with regards to Justice Mutuna, would look into to the manner in which he presided over the hearing and determination of the case of Development Bank of Zambia –v- Post Newspapers Limited, JCN Holdings Limited & Mutembo Nchito [current Director of Public Prosecutions].
Justice Nigel Mutuna is alleged to have misbehaved and/or acted incompetently when he proceeded to hear and determine the matter without a formal order transferring the matter from Justice Albert Mark Wood before whom the matter had been heard.
- ICC to 'explore other options' if Kenya fails to cooperate
- Ethiopian journalist questioned over Zenawi widow story
- The girl who met Gaddafi 'in hell'
- Four Nigerians among 5 shortlisted for African writing prize
- AU won’t recognise Madagascar poll win by Rajoelina
- Somali PM disowns Jubaland 'presidents'
- Kenyan nominated to head UN trade agency
- Liberia media to maintain 'blackout' on president
- After Berlin Man, two reported cured of HIV in Kenya
Beyond the ballot