The Tribunal constituted to probe suspended Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mutembo Nchito for his alleged misconduct and abuse of office has thrown out all preliminary issues that Nchito raised.
The Tribunal led by chairperson and former Chief Justice Annel Silungwe has also ruled that the proceedings of the tribunal which commence this afternoon will be held in Camera.
The Annel Silungwe led Tribunal had previously failed to commence its formal sittings because Mr Nchito had raised preliminary issues among them the demand that former Chief Justices Mathew Ngulube and Ernest Sakala recuse themselves.
Mr Nchito had also claimed that the tribunal was incompetent because some of the terms of references were allegedly lifted from a letter civil rights activist Brebner Changala wrote to President Lungu petitioning him to constitute a tribunal to investigate Mr Nchito.
Delivering ruling on the three preliminary issues raised by Mr Nchito, Justice Anel Silungwe announced that the two judges do not need to recuse themselves.He said there is absolutely no merit for the two judges to recuse themselves saying Justice Sakala and Justice Ngulube will not recuse themselves because the facts presented before the tribunal do not pose a real danger of biasness. Justice Silungwe said Mr. Nchito is relying on scanty and disjointed facts to ask Judges to recuse themselves.
Justice Silungwe also announced that the hearings will be held in camera not in public in order to protect members of the tribunal and witnesses.The chairperson ruled that Nchito needed to prove that there was not going to be any justice if the tribunal was held in camera. Since he could not prove it, the tribunal will commence hearing in camera.
He also ruled that there is nothing irregular with the President as the appointing authority amending the Terms of Reference for the tribunal saying he can amend the Terms of Reference as he wishes.He said the President has powers to change the Terms of Reference at any given time.
The tribunal Chairman also took a swipe at some sections of the media over the manner in which proceedings of the tribunal have been covered saying they have been taking sides.
He said some members of the tribunal have set up parallel tribunals which might injure the integrity of tribunal members and witnesses.
Justice Silungwe also stated that the tribunal has a duty to serve and protect the office of the DPP adding that the office of DPP does not start and end with Mr Nchito.