Court instructs lawyers to withdraw Hichilema’s contempt case

Hakainde Hichilema - HH
Hakainde Hichilema - HH

THE Kitwe High Court has directed lawyers representing Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda to withdraw from the record the case where they have applied that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema be cited for contempt for allegedly commenting on a matter that is actively in court.
This is in a case in which Ms Chibesakunda’s lawyers filed an affidavit to have Mr Hichilema cited for contempt for commenting on her tenure as chief justice when the matter was in court.
In the main matter, the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is challenging Justice Chibesakunda’s appointment as chief justice.
When the matter involving the alleged contempt came up for hearing before Kitwe High Court judge-in-charge Catherine Makungu yesterday, one of the lawyers, Charles Chanda, indicated to the court that both parties are in the process of pursuing an ex-curia (outside court) settlement.
Mr Chanda asked the court to adjourn the matter so that Ms Chibesakunda’s lawyers and Mr Hichilema’s lawyers could pursue the ex-curia settlement in question.
In response, Mr Hichilema’s lawyer Milner Katolo confirmed having received a letter proposing the ex-curia settlement but added that there was a crucial outstanding issue regarding the infringement of the legal practitioners practice rules by Ms Chibesakunda’s lawyers which needed to be resolved.
In her ruling, Justice Makungu agreed that Chilupe and Permanent Chambers were in breach of rules number 33 and 34 of Statutory Instrument number 51 of 2002 although the defect was not fatal to the application because it was curable if the advocates withdraw from representing Justice Chibesakunda in the contempt matter.
She directed Chilupe and Permanent Chambers to withdraw from the record in accordance with the laid down procedure within seven days from yesterday, failure to which their contempt application would remain defective.
Justice Makungu added that if the advocates fail to withdraw from the record, she may order that LAZ takes disciplinary action against them.
She added that the parties were free to negotiate for a settlement outside court.
Justice Makungu adjourned the matter to December 1 this year for hearing.