PATRIOTIC Front (PF) deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri says Zambians must dismiss as “hogwash” Rainbow Party president Wynter Kabimba’s insinuation that the Judicial Service Commission was secretly sworn in by Chief Justice Ireen Mabilima.
Ms Phiri, in a statement yesterday, said there is nothing irregular about holding matters in camera.
“What would be the rationale behind any secrecy for a commission whose business will interface the general public?” she asked.
Ms Phiri also said there is no justification on questioning former chief justice Mathew Ngulube’s standing and track record.
“Justice Ngulube has chaired several commissions with honour since he left office as Chief Justice, such as the tribunal that investigated Judge [Timothy]Katanekwa and was a member of the Judge Sunkutu tribunal,” she said.
Ms Mumbi also said Justice Ngulube is an expert on the constitutional review commission and the technical committee on drafting the constitution.
She said it should be emphasised that while all the previous tribunals involving these judges were held in camera, including the Esau Chulu tribunal, also known as the Mukelabai Mukelabai tribunal set up to probe alleged misconduct of the former Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito, some people want to crucify the Annel Silungwe tribunal for electing to also be held in camera.
Ms Phiri said Zambians must ask why the Annel Silungwe tribunal should be treated differently from the Mukelabai Mukelabai tribunal, for example.
Ms Phiri was reacting to media reports alleging that the commission comprising Mr Ngulube, acting deputy chief justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa, Attorney General Likando Kalaluka, Solicitor General Abraham Mwansa, dean of law school at the University of Zambia Frederick Mudenda, Dr Brian Chituwo and chief resident magistrate Astridah Chulu was sworn in secretly by Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima