2 Supreme Court Judges warned, asked to step down

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS - By CHARLES MUSONDA

A CON­CERNED cit­i­zen has warned Supreme Court Judges Mumba Malila and Al­bert Wood that he will com­mence crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings against them if they do not step down within five days for al­leged abuse of of­fice.

In sep­a­rate let­ters dated Oc­to­ber 26, 2018 ad­dressed to the two, Chan­oda Ng­wira has charged that the judges have abused their au­thor­ity of of­fice by ac­cept­ing to act as wit­nesses for for­mer Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions Mutembo Nchito in the mat­ter he has chal­lenged his re­moval from the DPP’s of­fice in the Con­sti­tu­tional Court. In the let­ter to Judge Wood, Mr. Ng­wira says the judge has vol­un­tar­ily, and with­out any court or­der com­pelling him to take up the role of wit­ness on Mr. Nchito’s be­half , agreed to tes­tify against the State, his em­ployer and ap­point­ing au­thor­ity. “As a Supreme Court Judge you took the Ju­di­cial Oath un­der the Of­fi­cial Oaths Act in which you swore to truly serve Zambia and the Pres­i­dent of the Re­pub­lic of Zambia and that you would do jus­tice in ac­cor­dance with the Con­sti­tu­tion of Zambia and in ac­cor­dance with the laws of Zambia with­out fear, favour or ill will. “Ar­ti­cle 261 of the Con­sti­tu­tion of Zambia pro­vides that a per­son hold­ing a pub­lic of­fice shall act in ac­cor­dance with a code of con­duct and ethics prescribed for that of­fice. Your po­si­tion as a Supreme Court Judge makes you such a per­son hold­ing pub­lic of­fice as de­fined un­der Ar­ti­cles 266 and 200 of the Con­sti­tu­tion re­ferred to. Your con­duct as a pub­lic of­fi­cer must there­fore com­ply with a prescribed code which in your case is the Ju­di­cial (Code of Con­duct) Act num­ber 13 of 1999. “I no­tice that sec­tion 5 (4) of the Ju­di­cial (Code of Con­duct) Act pro­hibits you as a ju­di­cial of­fi­cer from act­ing as a wit­ness to the char­ac­ter of Mr. Mutembo Nchito. The ra­tio­nale be­hind this sec­tion is to avoid putting or bring­ing in is­sue the char­ac­ter of a judge such as your­self dur­ing cross ex­am­i­na­tion, which may ul­ti­mately com­pro­mise or af­fect the dig­nity of your of­fice and bring the Ju­di­ca­ture into dis­re­pute,” Mr. Ng­wira said. He said Judge Wood’s agree­ment to take up the role of wit­ness for Mr. Nchito is a breach of sec­tion 5 (4) of the Ju­di­cial (Code of Con­duct) Act. “This let­ter gives you a five-day ul­ti­ma­tum within which you have to vol­un­tar­ily and hon­ourably step down as a Supreme Court Judge to al­low in­ves­ti­ga­tions into your con­duct like other judges have hon­ourably done in the past. Kindly note that should you not step down within the said pe­riod, I shall, as a con­cerned Zam­bian, com­mence crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings by pri­vate pros­e­cu­tion against you,” he said. And in the let­ter to Judge Malila, Mr. Ng­wira said be­fore be­com­ing At­tor­ney Gen­eral he took an Oath of Of­fice in which he swore not to di­rectly or in­di­rectly re­veal or trans­mit any such in­for­ma­tion or mat­ter as shall be brought un­der his con­sid­er­a­tion or shall be made known to him by rea­son of his of­fice ex­cept as may be re­quired in the dis­charge of his du­ties or with au­thor­ity of the Pres­i­dent.

Supreme Court Judges Mumba Malila and Al­bert Wood

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