LAWYERS representing acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda have asked the High Court to cite the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) executive committee for contempt in a matter in which the association has petitioned that she leaves office.
This is in a matter in which the LAZ has petitioned Justice Chibesakunda and Attorney-General Mumba Malila to leave office.
LAZ is seeking an order that the re-appointment of Justice Chibesakunda as Supreme Court judge is illegal, null and void.
The association wants a declaration that the President may exercise the powers contained in Article 98 (1) (b) of the Constitution, only once with respect to any one judge of the High Court or Supreme Court.
LAZ also wants an order that the President may not appoint a person who has attained and exceeded the age of 65 years to the office of judge of the High Court, Supreme Court, Deputy Chief Justice or Chief Justice.
According to a notice of motion for committal filed by Bonaventure Mutale of Ellis and Company, the alleged contemnors are members of the LAZ council.
Mr Mutale alleged that the alleged contemnors interfered with the matter by lodging a complaint before the LAZ legal practitioner’s committee against lawyers representing Justice Chibesakunda.
Mr Mutale said the 16 alleged contemnors include LAZ president James Banda.
He said LAZ had filed an application for an order directing all advocates representing the acting Chief Justice to recuse themselves from the proceedings.
Mr Mutale said the said application is scheduled to be heard by the High Court in Kitwe on February 14 next year.
He said the council laid the complaint before its legal practitioner’s committee on grounds that the defence lawyers have abrogated part seven (7) of the legal practitioners practice rules.
Mr Mutale said the committee wrote to all law firms on record representing Justice Chibesakunda indicating that the complaint will be heard and determined tomorrow.
According to a letter dated December 5, this year, from the LAZ legal practitioner’s committee, the complaint against the law firms was for going against the resolutions of the LAZ extraordinary general meeting which was held on August 24, 2013.