A scandal is brewing in the Judiciary after information emerged that some top Judges were promised promotions if they delivered favourable judgments in politically sensitive cases.
Newly appointed Constitutional Court President Justice Margaret Munalulu, Justice Palan Mulonda, Magistrate Faides Hamaundu and Magistrate Martin Namushi are some of the Judges that had signed for the illegal scheme.
According to highly placed sources within the Judicial Services Commission, the Judges were promised to be promoted if they delivered Judgements in favour of President Hichilema and the UPND.
The sources who are not allowed to speak to Journalists and opted to remain anonymous because of security concerns said it is true that President Hichilema had a secret meeting with selected Judges and Chief Justice Mumba Malila last year where he made the promises.
“If you remember, the state quickly moved in and arrested Nakacinda (Rapheal) after he disclosed details of this meeting, well, the truth is that the meeting did take place and the state was going to be embarrassed if nothing was done to Rapheal after the revelation,” the sources said.
They revealed that Justices Munalula and Mulonda were singled out and asked to deliver favourable judgments in the Kabushi and Kwacha election petitions.
“So the President offered Justice Munalula and Palan (Mulonda) the ConCourt presidency and vice respectively. However, so far only Margaret has been awarded and this has left Palan very frustrated. He feels used and dumped and he is now telling all of us that that the Judgment he wrote for Kabushi and Kabwata makes him feel stupid because it lacked facts,” the sources said.
“For the Court President (Justice Munalula), she has always favoured the UPND and President Hichilema, remember even in the Lungu eligibility petition, she is the only one who offered dissenting judgment that Lungu didn’t qualify to stand, even in the Kwacha and Kabushi election petition, she again was the only one who said ECZ acted within the law.”
The sources further revealed that Magistrate Faides Hamaundu was promised a new position as Resident Chief Magistrate at Lusaka if she manages to convict Bowman Lusambo and the wife, Nancy.
“What is surprising is that Magistrate Hamaundu is retired, she is only serving on contract to help clear the backlog of cases and as far as we are concerned here at the Judicial Service Commission, you can’t promote someone who is on contract. She was promised Chief Registrar but she has been given the role of Principle Magistrate and she has very upset,” the sources said.
They added, “Magistrate Hamaundu also feels used. She has come to our offices complaining at the offer letter to be promoted as Principal Magistrate was handed over to her. She now wants to stop as soon as her contract runs out.”
They said the manner in which State House is treating appointment of judges as potential to undermine the judiciary.
The sources said all the key appointments in the judiciary is coming from State House.
The said Magistrate Martin Namushi who was based in Samfya was promised a transfer to Luanshya if he handled the Chitotela and Chilangwa court case in Kawambwa favourably.
The sources have warned that the schemes by Chief Justice Mumba Malila and President Hichilema have the potential to put the country on fire.
“CJ Malila needs to be careful with the manner is handling his relationship with President Hichilema or else, he risks going to jail when there is a change in government,” they warned.