THE Lusaka High Court has stopped proceedings of the tribunal constituted to probe suspended Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito’s alleged professional misconduct pending outcome of the judicial review hearing.
High Court judge Mubanga Kondolo has also ordered that Mr Nchito commences judicial review and that the matter be conducted expeditiously.
Mr Justice Kondolo ruled yesterday that proceedings of the Annel Silungwe-led tribunal probing Mr Nchito be stayed until the judicial review hearing is concluded or until further orders are issued.
Mr Justice Kondolo has, however, not stayed the suspension of Mr Nchito. Mr Justice Kondolo refused to lift the suspension of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito.
Mr Nchito had applied for an application for leave to apply for judicial review and asked the Court to stay both the Tribunal proceedings and his suspension.
“It is ordered that the applicant’s suspension from duty is not stayed, it is hereby ordered that interparte hearing shall be heard on June 11 this year,” Judge Kondolo said.
Justice Kondolo also allowed the applicant leave to apply for judicial review and directed that the application for the same be made by originating summons in his chambers with the hearing of the same to be expedited.
“It is further ordered that the decisions and proceedings of the Tribunal be stayed until after the hearing of the summons for judicial review herein or until further orders,” Judge Kondolo said.
Mr Nchito had asked the Court to quash the decision of the Annel Silungwe led Tribunal to commence sittings and inquire into matters that are the subject of appeal in the High Court and Supreme Court respectively.
The applicant wants the Court to restrain the Tribunal from treating him in a manner that is illegal, procedurally improper and irrational and asked the Court to order Attorney general Likando Kalaluka to pay him damages for misfeasance.
“It is illegal for the Tribunal to commence sittings when the bulk of the matters he is facing before it are the subject of an appeal, there is nothing in Article 58 of the Constitution allowing a Tribunal set
up to probe the DPP to make its own procedure,” Mr Nchito said.
Mr Nchito contended that he was suspended on March 10 this year by President Edgar Lungu who appointed a Tribunal to probe him on allegations that were largely similar to those instituted by former deputy finance minister Newton Ng’uni.
Judge Kondolo has since ordered that interparte hearing be heard on June 11 this year