ATTORNEY General, Mumba Malila has said his office has made tremendous progress towards the preparations for the sitting of a tribunal to probe the alleged professional misconduct of the three suspended judges expected to start sittings next week.
Mr Malila said in an interview yesterday that all was going on well and his office was expected to finalize its submission requirements for the tribunal this week in readiness for next week’s sitting.
The tribunal which is headed by Malawi High Court Judge, Lovemore Chikopa is expected to hear alleged professional misconduct of Supreme court Judge Philip Musonda and High Court Judges, Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga.
Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda on May 9, 2013 delivered a majority judgment to the effect that President Michael Sata was within his powers to suspend the judges and subsequently appoint a tribunal to probe them.
Ms Justice Chibesakunda had however due to the nature of the case advised not to go ahead with the tribunal, the advice, Mr Malila said was unsolicited as the judgment in itself was clear that the president was on firm ground to call for the probing of the judges.
Mr Malila yesterday said preparations of the tribunal were going on well but all what remained was for filing of necessary documents which were requested by the tribunal secretariat.
Mr Malila said that his office was still conducting preliminary issues as it has to meet rules tabulated by the tribunal before it could start sitting.
He said that the tribunal has requested for the submission of statements of allegation, list of witnesses, witness statements and other documents which his office was expected to submit this week “ We are still in doing the preliminary issues because only last week, we were requested to submit a list of witnesses and statement of our arguments to the tribunal which we will be working on this week and because of that, we have requested for more time before the tribunal can start sitting” Mr Malila said.
Mr Malila said that everything was expected to be finalized this week before the tribunal could start its sitting next week.
Mr Sata had suspended the three judges 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.
The judges took the matter to court but the final judgment by the Supreme Court said Mr Sata was within the law to appoint a tribunal and did not breach his Constitutional powers.
The tribunal would comprise of Judge Chikopa as chairperson and members Justices Thomas Ndhlovu and Naboth Mwanza, as well as Chipili Katunasa as secretary.