FILE: Chairperson of a tribunal set to probe three suspended judges, Justice Lovemore Chikopa, takes oath before President Michael Sata at State House
FILE: Chairperson of a tribunal set to probe three suspended judges, Justice Lovemore Chikopa, takes oath before President Michael Sata at State House

THE suspension of two Lusaka High Court Judges, Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna has been lifted with immediate effect.

And Kabwe High Court Judge Mwiinde Siavwapa has also recommended the immediate dissolution of the judge Lovemore Chikopa Tribunal appointed by late President Michael Sata because it has no legal capacity to execute the mandate for which it was constituted.

Delivering a judgment in a matter in which the judges had challenged their suspension and legality of the Chikopa Tribunal, Judge Siavwapa has ordered that Judges Mutuna and Kajimanga were at liberty to resume their duties with immediate effect.

He ruled that while he could not question the appointment of the Tribunal by President Sata, it would be unfair and unjust for Judges Mutuna and Kajimanga to remain suspended when the tribunal appointed to investigate them had no capacity to inquire into the matter.

He ruled that the decision by the Chikopa tribunal to formulate its own rules of procedure was illegal stating that the said rules were hence of no effect and that whatever decisions it made had been declared null and void ab initio.

Judge Siavwapa in his ruling stated that the Chikopa Tribunal was incapacitated because President Sata as the appointing authority failed to provide the necessary legal capacity by way of rules of procedure which by implication had produced a tribunal which he called stillborn which would never have the capacity to discharge its mandate.

In April 2012, President Sata suspended former Supreme Court judge Philip Musonda along with High Court judges Mutuna and Kajimanga and constituted the Chikopa Tribunal to investigate them of alleged gross misconduct.

Before the tribunal could commence its sitting, High Court Judge Flugence Chisanga halted the tribunal through an injunction after the two Judges challenged the constitutionality of the tribunal.

“Having come to the above stated conclusion, and for avoidance of any doubt, I hereby declare and order that the suspensions of the applicants cease to have effect forthwith by reason of the tribunal’s incapacity to carry out its mandate. The applicants are therefore at liberty to resume their duties.

As for the fate of the tribunal, I leave it to the Republican President, the appointing authority to determine although it is my considered view that the most logical thing to do in the circumstances would be to dissolve it,” Judge Siavwapa ruled.

Judge Siavwapa stated that while it was acknowledged that under normal circumstances only the President had the power to revoke the suspension of the judges upon advice by the tribunal, the fate of Judges Mutuna and Kajimanga could not be allowed to hang over their heads indefinitely because that was going to be “less than inhuman treatment.”

“I have endeavoured to demonstrate that the tribunal lacks the legal capacity to function and whatever it did is null and void ab initio. Since I have already declared the rules formulated by the tribunal as null and void, it follows that whatever steps were taken by the tribunal pursuant to the rules is void,” Judge Siavwapa ruled.

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66 COMMENTS

    • Guy Scott is the future; black people cannot run a country; give us your companies; we shall hire u; pay u peanuts and make a killing of a profit when exporting minerals.

      Privatization is the key, its makes us very wealthy and you very average : )

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    • Schemes to circumvent justice, tax obligation, liabilities and fair play have turned out too costly on tax payers instead. You cannot manipulate a country through editorials and get away with it for life. The whole debacle was a shortsighted scheme that overlooked the fact that justice never gets stale regardless. Here we are economic criminals are getting more vulnerable with a noose tightening up by everyday.

      We welcome the learned Judges. In restitution let GRZ pay them all their emoluments in arrears.

      Good luck.

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    • But why after Sata’s death? Not very long ago, the law under which Macdonald Chipenzi was charged (by Sata) was nullified by the Lusaka high court, and now this judgement today…
      This man was a serious hurdle to the dispensation of democracy.

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    • @Mushota – Yes. Since you don’t understand Greek, Sampa is now PF president. You can now go and buy your different shades of lip stick and join the rainbow party.

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    • As much as this is a welcome move, one has to wonder what independence our Judiciary enjoys.
      Has this decision been arrived at because the appointing authority has now expired? I am almost certain that the legality of the Chikopo tribunal was challenged and the Supreme Court under the leadership of the “Acting Chief Justice” came back with a half baked decision (where Judges differed and gave to summary judgements) but in favour of the tribunal.
      We need to strengthen our constitution and find an alternative way of appointing Judges (Not the President).
      Nonetheless, Sata was the bad apple of the nation in the last 3 years.

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    • Lungu is Sata, Sata is Lungu. It’s one and the same – the same Sata family tree that extends to Malawi and embraces Sata’s beloved brother-in-law and Lungu’s cousin, judge Lovemore Chikopa. Lungu is part of the Sata family tree. We are definitely not done with the Sata family tree yet.

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  1. Justice and fair play at best. It was a money shredding project instigated by debt defaulters and their economic crimes. Correct the mistake.

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    • ” when the wicked perish their are shouts of joy and the city rejoices”. Now that the dictator is dead sanity is coming back to Zambia. Am appelled at the fact that people hero worshiped the dictator and his political party. It was very disgusting to see distinguished judges being muffled by an illiterate just because he thought he owned the country.

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  2. Good move. Let the judges resume work. We need to know how much was gobbled on this ill-fated Chikopol led tribunal

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  3. I have always hated the PF. I like Edgar Lungu but I hate the people that surround him. Nsanda, Hapunda, Mwamba etc. I also hate the fact that if Edgar wins, then the cadres will take it as confirmation from the country that their behaviour is OK and they will continue albeit on a larger scale their ruthlessness which includes land grabbing activities and our cops will be as docile as ever. With regards Chikopa, can an audit please be done to quantify how much the country has lost on this judge and useless tribunal please?

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    • # 4 flag Dudelove,
      Don’t mistake humility for weakness. EL is a lawyer and you know that lawyers are tough leaders on matters of public service and abuse.

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    • @4 Dudelove

      We are all locked in a strange love affair with our gov’ts.

      If HH wins, THAT too would give UPND cadres a message that their abusive language is okay!

      What to do? Grin and bear it I guess!

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    • Patriot, better abusive language than getting one’s butt kicked. Senior Citizen, it will be excellent if Edgar proves to be his own man if he wins, more in the lines of how Mwanawasa did it. Everyone hated how he came into power but his actions after he took the seat made us appreciate him. Anyways, happy holidays to you both. See you on the other side as we continue to maul each other.

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    • I totally agree with you. The wasted money on paying Chikopa and his tribunal should be recovered from Sata’s terminal benefits.

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  4. One of the many failures of PF, commission after commission just to Protect thieves…

    HH should come in and clean this country mwe.

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  5. We said many times that the Chikopo tribunal was illegal. But PF leaders and their cartel ignored our cry. Now look at how much was wasted on that illegal tribunal. Will they refund the tax payers’ money they chewed?

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  6. Ok that is great lets hope your ruling is genuine. The other thing is that we praise Sata for shaking you guys in the Judicially coz you were very compromised during RB. Lets hope you have changed and that no president will again constitute a tribunal on you guys. Be impartial and un corrupt in your discharge of service and all Zambians will support you, but if you don’t change for good again another president will act as Sata did.

    But remember to vote for Edigar Lungu come 20 January 2015.

    Peace and Prosperity to Mother Zambia.

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  7. Sure EL & Chikopa look the same DNA. Oops….tribunal null and void. What will happen to Judge Mulenga now? He resigned too quickly or was it a retirement?

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  8. Good judgment, good thought, good discernment, good law and principle applied. Judge Siavwapa has acted in true legal sense. The law should not be used to fix others but favorably applied. The two Judges should revert to work soonest and take a leaf from this judgment that they also be fair but firm when adjudicating the law on others. No sacred cows. Kwamana.

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  9. This is why this PF regimes does not need to be voted back. They caused our country a lot of havoc. Suspended judges for no reason, fired nurses for no reason, refused to recognise the chitimukulu for no reason, introduced wage freeze for no reason, removed subsidies for no reason, have not paid farmers on time for no reason, increased retirement age. Etc Now the same pipo are busy undoing the very things they introduced. PF must surely gooo!

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    • It was not without cause that someone called them: “Pathetic Failures.” This kind of lunacy does not belong to the 21st Century.

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    • He was too wicked and oppressive to allow free thinkingjudges and nurses to work. Now that he’s dead theirs a great relief and freedom, am sure his own wife and children feel the same too. Anybody who thinks hes a hero or mentor needs to have their heads examined.

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  10. @ Mushota,

    I agree with you. when it comes to Court issues we are only interested in the Sampa case chapwa

    Chumbu Mulolwa

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  11. Is this a Banana republic that follows the rule of men! The President dies and all the laws, policies and actions that he passed are being reversed! Dismissed nurses are reinstated; high fuel prices are reduced; un-gazetted chiefs are promised recognition; unpaid farmers are paid; suspended judges are reinstated; legislated retirement age at 65 years last month to be reversed; mothballed constitution to be priotised; etc, etc:

    I agree with General Miyanda that this godammed country requires more re-engineering to place it back on legal, moral and normal keel than all the eldorado that is being traded at rallies!

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    • Eldorado and Shangri-La is ALL you’re getting from HH.

      Look, this is Lungu DELIVERING no GIMMICKS or fake promises!

      From Banana Republic to Democratic State at warp Speed!

      VOTE LUNGU. PRESIDENT!

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  12. But the government has spent a lot of money on Judge Chikopa. The question is did the president had legal advisors? This matter was a political matter. Another blunder of the PF government.

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  13. Zambians, NOTE how ALL these corrective measures are being taken under Edgar Lungu’s watch.

    Hon. Lungu is the chosen one, a gift of Jubilee. Wrongs righted and Justice granted. Constitution is almost ready save for the complaints of a strange NGO lead group, who noting their role is about to end are complaining on how quickly the Draft is going to be enacted, er……something to do with a referendum.

    Excuse me….have you read the debates on ZWD(sorry they don’t allow debate), and on the more intelligent LT? Like Raid man, get-me-a-bottle! Referendum? Give people like these online morons (UPND Obviously); we’d be looking at 90 years not 90 days to enact! Forget about it!

    We are getting everything we need under Lungu. He is correcting Sata’s mad max’ decisions!

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    • HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL AND LT. THANKS FOR THE BEST ENTERTAINMENT THIS YEAR!

      I’m off now to stake out discount chocolates, cakes on today’s last Christmas shopping day! IF I’m in the store 30 mins before closing everything’s going….cheap, cheap!

      Have a great one.

      VOTE LUNGU. PRESIDENT.

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    • Yes. It is strange that Membe has not reported anything in his paper. Had the court ruled against the judges, it would have been the main headline in the POST.

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  14. Mr. Edgar Lungu was part of this mess! It reflects badly on him. It would be interesting to hear the role he played. Is it true that he is related to Judge Chikopa? A commission of enquiry in this matter will be in order. A lot of tax payers’ money has been wasted!

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    • @ 19 C Kasonde

      Any wonder so called “Mr.” Edgar Lungu’s campaign promise is to perpetuate Sata’s legacy!

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  15. Late president Sata the appointing authority of Chikopa tribunal failed to provide the legal capacity and rules of procedure, judge Mwinde has ruled.

    What is interesting is Edgar Lungu standing next to judge Chikopa who could not decipher Sata’s errors in Chikopa tribunal’s lack of its legal capacity. Money wasted, innocent judges victimised and loss of confidence in Zambian legal profession by appointing the Malawian judge Chikopa. Small wonder judge has thrown it out. Wish national matters should not go this far for fear of an individual.
    With HH and UPND, change will really replace these old style of rule.

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  16. THIS CASE IS STALE NOW. IT IS NOT AN ISSUE ANYMORE. WHAT IS INTERESTING NOW IS WHO WILL GET INTO STATE HOUSE? PERIOD. THIS CASE DIED A LONG TIME AGO. I HOPE THE JUDGES HAVE ALSO LEARNT A LESSON THAT THEY ARE NOT TO BE USED BY POLITICIANS TO SETTLE SOME SCORES. THEY WERE USED BY RB TO PUNUSH M’MEMBE.

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  17. I find this of concern. Does the judicial system become the all arching judge and executioner, overseeing itself and overrulling other bodies, including the presidency? There are big issues with the judicial system in Zambia. It is corrupt and lacks credibility. One may disagree with the late MCS’s approach, but on this issue I agreed totally with him. The judges need reigning in before they do irreparable damage to our country. We have recently seen the judgements which have puzzled everyone, including many learned lawyers living abroad. There is a need for wholesale change in the system and qualifications for appointment. If we are not careful, we will become a laughing stock of all civilised countries. Let’s be serious. Sata meant well.

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  18. Looks like Judges cannot be investigated or cross checked. If one is INNOCENT why fight SO HARD that you should not be checked? This is the puzzle I have had ever since this case started. They accused tried very very HARD to ensure that the allegations against them are not cross checked.

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  19. Fellow country men and women i greet you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord on this great day.
    The reason i speak to you today is simple—my family and i would like to wish you nothing but love, peace, joy and unity this Christmas, and of course a happy new year.
    I pray to God that you celebrate this Christmas peacefully with your beloved family members and friends. Do not over indulge.
    During this period, please focus on that which you unites our country and not that which divides us.
    To our party members, and sympathizers, i thank you all for the tremendous support you have given us thus far as we step up the campaign for the 2015 presidential elections.
    Let’s us continue to campaign in the same spirit and zeal of oneness
    2015 VOTE PF (EDGAR)

    I THANK YOU….

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  20. Great judgement by a great judge ! Now the question is, what happens to the judgement that the two judges made in the case of Mutembo Nchito and Fred Mmembe where they ordered Nchito and Mmembe to pay back the loan? Was this judgement set aside pending the outcome of the tribunal OR it was completely quashed?

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  21. HH is doing something stupid by promising people with “This is what I will do when I become president” – like the promise to sell mining houses to sitting tenants. That is the #1 sign of leading by dictatorship. He should be saying “This is what I will propose or bring up for national debate or discussion”. I am surprised that, for being a young man, HH doesn’t get it yet. Come on HH say something progressive. Do not be afraid of debating hard issues. Make sure you commit or promise to lead only by the law and applying fairly. Tell us you will punish your own people who disobey the law including police. Otherwise you are just another dictator bent on extending the same old traditions (using the same failed and washed up MPs) of corruption and mediocrity.

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  22. I have endeavoured to demonstrate that the tribunal lacks the legal capacity to function and whatever it did is null and void ab initio. EL was there too….. meaning he gave wrong advise to Sata…..HH… will declare PF null and void soon…..
    mushota…… join the winning team flight HH… you are too lonely

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  23. Edgar Lungu and Judge Chikopa, (both in the photo) were related to Michael Sata through marriage. It was the Malawi extension of the Sata family tree. Lungu is Sata and Sata is Lungu – the same family tree. Expect more of the same Sata family tree politics under a Lungu presidency. Ever so naïve, Zambians seem more than eager to resurrect Michael Sata from the grave, through now popular Edgar Lungu.

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  24. What I resented most about the Chikopo oh sorry… Chikopa tribunal was the arrogance with which it was appointed by Sata who has since been canonized by his worshipers, who now sing glory hallelujah about him. The man deeply divided this nation on ethnic lines. His appointments in cabinet, civil service,diplomatic service, parastatals was on 95% regional. In Board meetings, English the official and business language became the second language as Board members who were mostly from the same region arrogantly chose to speak in vernacular.
    The only President who can change this must come from outside the PF. This President must go back to our founding father’s principle of regional balancing, otherwise 50 years from now, we are headed for the Rwanda experience. I think it is as serious as…

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    • The two Judges should now come back FULL SWING & FULL SPEED to recover our 15Billion from Nchito & Mmembe!!

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  25. So now we know that late Michael Sata was related to this Malawian chikopa. The audacity of the late to use his relatives even in situations which demanded no conflicts of interests! Shame.

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