Lusaka High Court Judge Mwila Chitabo yesterday morning threatened to issue a warrant of arrest against Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo for failing to appear in court.
This is in a matter where Mr. Lusambo and seventeen others are accused of having disobeyed a court order by evicting sixteen former teachers who had occupied government houses at Kabulonga Boys Secondary School.
When the matter came up, judge Chitabo demanded for proof of service of summons so that he can issue the arrest warrant against Mr Lusambo for not coming to court.
This was after he was told by the plaintiff’s lawyer that service was done on all the alleged contemnors.
But after five minutes break the plaintiffs’ lawyer informed the court that Mr Lusambo was not served because of lack of time.
Judge Chitabo then observed that it would be unfair to condemn Mr. Lusambo when he was not personally served with the summon to appear before court.
Meanwhile, judge Chitabo has rejected an application by the state to raise preliminary issues in the absence of two of the accused persons.
Solicitor General Abraham Mwansa had asked the court to allow him raise preliminary issues as they border on the law and procedure.
Judge Chitabo rejected this argument saying there is nothing urgent for him to allow the state to make the application in the absence of some suspects.
He further noted that the offence in question is serious and criminal in nature.
Judge Chitabo has adjourned the matter to November 6th to allow the other suspects be served with summons.
This week judge Chitabo granted leave to the affected teachers to apply for an order to commit Mr Lusambo and others to prison for contempt of court.