Kajimanga, Mutuna challenge tribunal legality

SUSPENDED High Court judges Nigel Mutuna (R)

SUSPENDED High Court judges Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga have again filed an application challenging the legality of the tribunal appointed by President Sata to probe their alleged professional misconduct.
On May 9, 2013, the Supreme Court overturned High Court judge Fulgence Chisanga’s decision to stop President Sata from suspending justices Mutuna, Kajimanga and Supreme Court judge Phillip Musonda and constituting a tribunal to probe their alleged conduct.
Justices Mutuna, Kajimanga and Musonda challenged President Sata’s decision to suspend them and appoint a tribunal to probe their alleged professional conduct.
Last year, justices Mutuna and Kajimanga applied for judicial review challenging President Sata’s decision to suspend and the judicial review, granted by Ms Justice Chisanga, stopped the President’s decision against the judges.
This time, justices Mutuna and Kajimanga have gone to court challenging the constitutionality of the tribunal constituted against them.
This is contained in an application for judicial review filed in the Lusaka High Court by the two judges.
The tribunal, whose secretariat is at the New Government Complex, is set to commence sittings next week has reached an advanced stage in its preparations.
The tribunal has already accredited journalists to cover the sittings and has called for people interested to testify against the three judges.
But the two judges’ application reads in part: “The tribunal has no legal framework consistent with the constitutional rights and it has failed to give the applicants adequate notice of its proceeding to give them time to prepare and exercise their constitutional rights.”
The two judges allege the tribunal against them has defied the rule of natural justice by failing to consider their constitutional rights.
In May 2012, Justice Chisanga allowed justices Mutuna and Kajimanga to commence judicial review, stopping the tribunal from carrying out its work.
However, in June 2012, Attorney-General Mumba Malila challenged Ms Justice Chisanga’s decision but the High Court judge dismissed the State’s application to set aside justices Mutuna and Kajimanga’s leave to commence judicial review.
This prompted Mr Malila to file an appeal in the Supreme Court to challenge Justice Chisanga’s decision.
Justice Musonda filed an ex parte summons to join an order for leave to commence judicial review granted to justices Mutuna and Kajimanga. He was granted his wish by the Supreme Court in June.