2 Supreme Court Judges warned, asked to step down
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