By CHARLES MUSONDA
MUTEMBO Nchito’s application to have a concerned citizen cited for contempt of court, for notifying two Supreme Court Judges of their alleged breach of the law, is useless, the Constitutional Court has been told.
In this case, Chanoda Ngwira last month wrote to Judges Mumba Malila and Albert Wood over their alleged breach of statutory duty and their obligations enshrined in Articles 261 and 200 of the Constitution of Zambia as read with Section 5(4) of the Judicial (Code of Conduct) Act number 13 of 1999 in relation to Section 126 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
In separate letters to the duo, Mr. Ngwira notified them that their act of being witnesses in Mr. Nchito’s character case, in which he has challenged his removal as DPP, is a criminal offence and is likely to put the dignity of the Judicature and administration of justice into ridicule and disrepute.
But on November 1, 2018 Mr. Nchito filed an application for leave to commence contempt proceedings against Mr. Ngwira pursuant to Order 52 (2) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of England (1965) 1999 edition in addition to one cited common law case. However, the Constitutional Court dismissed the application for irregularities.
A day after the dismissal, Mr. Nchito filed a notice of motion on the same grounds as were in the dismissed application; and further filed a notice of motion to raise preliminary issues.
But in his affidavit in opposition, Mr. Ngwira says the court cannot proceed to hear and determine Mr. Nchito’s application for contempt against him without first determining the former’s notice of motion.