A Lufwanyama resident has written to the Office of Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima asking her to investigate the comments made by UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema towards three constitutional Court Judges last year.
Mr. Hichilema at a media briefing at his residence in New Kasama accused Constitutional Court Judges Mungeni Mulenga, Palan Mulonda and Annie Sitali of being corrupt, the sentiments Henry Chilombo claim may amount to contempt of Court.
In a letter addressed to the Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima and copied to the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr. Chilombo said he also understands that Mr. Hichilema was wrong to accuse the Judiciary whilst in South Africa last year of corruption and being under the control of the President.
Currently, Bishop John Mambo and Gregory Chifire have been summoned by the Supreme Court to answer contempt charges laid against them for letters written to the Chief Justice and media statements attacking the judges of the Supreme Court.
Mr. Chilombo said by accusing the three judges of having been paid to throw out the petition, he did not objectively criticise the Judiciary and its decision as permitted by the law.
He asked Justice Mambilima’s office to ensure that this matter is investigated and conclusively brought to an end.
Meanwhile, Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) President, Andrew Ntewewe, who said that Mr. Hichilema like any other citizen accused must not be judged from court of public opinion but must be given fair hearing before a competent court of law to substantiate his claims that the three Judges of the Constitutional Court are corrupt, influenced by money and the Executive.
“We have studied the recent complaint against Mr. Hichilema and we believe the complaint raises genuine public concerns on slanderous attacks against the Judiciary, judges, magistrates and their decisions,” said Ntewewe.
Mr. Ntewewe said that while YALI will always stand up tp protect every person’s freedom of expressionas guaranteed by the Constitution, the institution believes decorum, civility and respect of these key institutions is key to ensuring public trust, confidence and credibility.
“Calling judges and the judiciary as corrupt amounts to scandalising the court, which politicians, activists and the public must restrain themselves from doing in order to protect the integrity of the judiciary,” he said.
He said in light of the seriousness of allegations made against Mr. Hichilema by a citizen, natural justice demands that Mr. Hichilema must be heard of his allegations of corruption among judges from our highest court of the land.
“A fair and speedy hearing in which Mr. Hichilema may substantiate his allegations will help clear the doubt in the minds of the public on what Mr. Hichilema termed as deep-rooted corruption among our judges,” said Mr. Ntewewe.