Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima has refused to set up a tribunal to investigate Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya’s alleged wrong doings in the Malawi Maize scandal.
This is after UPP President Savior Chishimba wrote to Justice Mambilima’s office requesting that she sets up a tribunal to probe Ms. Siliya’s dealings.
In a letter addressed to UPP President Savior Chishimba and released to the media, Justice Mambilima said she has refused to grant the request because she sought the assistance of an unnamed investigating agency to assess the probable cause.
The other reason is that Justice Mambilima has been advised that the corruption allegations on the part of Ms. Siliya have been investigated and there is no evidence.
But Dr Chishimba said the response from Justice Mambilima is not supported by any provision under the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act, Cap 16 of the Laws of Zambia.
He said the Chief Justice misdirected herself to seek the assistance of an unnamed investigative agency as the power rests with the tribunal and not the Chief Justice, under Cap 16.
Dr Chishimba said the Chief Justice’s role is to simply notify the President and the Speaker about a member who is placed under probe.
“The Chief Justice’s mandate does not go beyond receipt of the particulars of the breaches and appointment of a three-man tribunal. The Chief Justice cannot be told about any other evidence before the main evidence of the petitioner is heard by the tribunal during the probe,” he said.
He charged that the Chief Justice has illegally decided to take a route which is clearly ultra vires Cap 16.
“The alleged corruption was between officials in two countries. On the strength of the UPP evidence, three separate investigations in Malawi named Hon Dora Siliya as the facilitator of corruption.
We have seized the opportunity to remind the Chief Justice that the miscarriage of Justice, which has become second nature to the Judiciary, will not escape the judgment of the Almighty God,” he said.
He said the price of mealie meal remains high in Zambia and many Zambian families are struggling because of corruption and bad leadership.
“The cost of living is rising in face of a Kwacha whose value has declined. Consequently, Zambian workers, the military, civil servants, police and prison officers, intelligence officers and ordinary citizens are failing to balance their budgets. Payday is now a nightmare due to extreme mathematical calculations to balance figures,” he said.