Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba has this afternoon told the tribunal investigating his alleged abuse of office and beach of the Oath of Secrecy, that his 1st August, 2013 letter attached with a government legal opinion and disclosed to Ellis & Co was drafted in his Ministerial office.
During cross examination by the complainant’s counsel, Makebi Zulu, Mr. Kabimba however told the tribunal that typing and printing of the letter was done at his law firm situated at Godfrey House in Lusaka, but that the letter was signed from his Ministerial office.
When asked whether it was proper for him to keep Patriotic Front (PF) letter heads in his Ministerial office, Mr. Kabimba responded in the affirmative that he had no problem keeping PF stationary at his Ministerial office because his positions of Minister of Justice and PF Secretary General are complementary.
Mr. Kabimba further told the tribunal that the duality of his roles is also the basis on which he disclosed the said letter to his party’s lawyers as a matter of public interest because the PF for which he is Secretary General performs public functions despite not being part of government.
Asked whether the party PF paid for the legal opinion which he obtained from Solicitor General Musa Mwenya, Mr. Kabimba told the tribunal that he did not know whether the PF paid for the legal opinion or not.
And Mr. Kabimba has maintained that carbon copying the letter in question to Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda did not amount to inference in the independence of the Judiciary.
He was responding to a question from the complainant’s counsel, Mr. Zulu who wanted him to explain whether he did not know that the Judiciary does not receive legal interpretations from the Solicitor General.
Mr. Kabimba however, maintained that what was carbon copied to the Acting Chief Justice was ideally a confidential communication to his party’s law firm and that it did not give specific directives which the Judiciary was to follow.
The matter has since been adjourned to tomorrow Wednesday 22nd January.