Con­Court fires warn­ing shots

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By NA­TION RE­PORTER

WE will not hes­i­tate to cite any­one for con­tempt for launch­ing at­tacks on the Con­sti­tu­tional Court, warns its pres­i­dent Hilda Chi­bomba.

Judge Chi­bomba noted with con­cern that while the pres­i­den­tial el­i­gi­bil­ity case was pend­ing de­ter­mi­na­tion, sev­eral in­di­vid­u­als were com­ment­ing on the same is­sue thereby jeop­ar­dis­ing the rep­u­ta­tion of the court.

She said this yes­ter­day be­fore de­liv­er­ing judge­ment in a mat­ter that sought in­ter­pre­ta­tion on whether Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu was el­i­gi­ble to con­test the 2021 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Judge Chi­bomba said the court had been re­luc­tant in tak­ing ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion against such in­di­vid­u­als be­cause it pro­moted free speech.

How­ever, it would not spare any­one who would launch at­tacks on it again.

“We have noted with con­cern that while the mat­ter was still in court, sev­eral in­di­vid­u­als were com­ment­ing in a man­ner that will bring dis­re­pute to the in­tegrity of this court. This court has been tol­er­ant even when peo­ple launched at­tacks and that is in order to pro­mote free speech,

“How­ever, free speech does not en­tail that peo­ple can just go about jeop­ar­dis­ing the in­tegrity of this court. We ren­der a timely warn­ing that those who en­gage in at­tacks do so at their own peril as they will be charged with con­tempt of court. Take this as a timely warn­ing,” Judge Chi­bomba said.

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