Controversy over Supreme Court Judge Musonda’s investigation

Philip Musonda

THE controversy surrounding the Tribunal constituted to investigate three judges continues to rage with the panel maintaining that it will proceed to hear allegations against Supreme Court Judge Philip Musonda despite his resignation.
This follows the action by Dr Justice Musonda’s lawyers stating that the Tribunal constituted to probe alleged professional misconduct has no jurisdiction to do so because he had decided to leave office.
The letter signed by lawyer Milner Katolo to the Tribunal secretariat is dated June 7, this year.
In a response, Tribunal secretary Chipili Magayane advised that her office would sit on June 18 2013 to hear the issues raised by the judge.
Ms Magayane’s letter dated June 10, 2013 was copied  to  Attorney-General Mumba Malila.
Tuesday next week was the day set by the Tribunal to start receiving evidence in the alleged professional misconduct of Dr Justice Musonda and two High Court judges Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga.
Justices Mutuna and Kajimanga are, however,  challenging the legality of constituting the Tribunal and were granted leave to stay the proceedings by Judge Timothy Katenekwa until determination of the matter.
Ms     Magayane has advised Dr Justice Musonda’s lawyers to present issues raised before the Tribunal for consideration and not through the exchange of letters.
“Please be advised that the Tribunal will sit on June 18, 2013 to hear your client on the issues raised in your correspondence. In addition, we wish to reiterate that the Tribunal doubts the propriety of exchanging matters by way of letters as it does not make for proper case management,” Ms Magayane said.
Dr Justice Musonda on June 4, this year, wrote to President Michael Sata informing him that he has decided to resign.
In his letter to the tribunal, Dr  Justice  Musonda, through his lawyers, alleged that the tribunal had no jurisdiction to probe his alleged professional misconduct maintaining that it had now no jurisdiction over him since he had voluntarily decided to leave office.
“We write to seek confirmation on the  reports reaching our client to the effect that the Tribunal intends to continue sitting to  hear  evidence  against  Dr Musonda,  notwithstanding the stay of proceedings granted  by  the High Court,” the lawyers from Milner Katolo and Associates said.
Mr Katolo said since Justices Kajimanga and Mutuna were challenging the legality, the Tribunal could wait for the outcome of that matter.
He  said if  the  court found that the tribunal was illegal and unconstitutional, then it would challenge the very core of powers of the tribunal constituted to investigate any person not only the applicants in that case.