Judges can’t be investigated by police, says Chief Justice Mambilima

Judges can’t be investigated by police, says Chief Justice Mambilima

Chief Justice Irene Mambilima has vowed to block any attempts by the ACC or DEC to investigate her and other judges who were bribed by Stanbic through Eric Silwamba, Jalasi & Linyama.

Some  Supreme Court judges were bribed to ‘trash’ a High Court judgement that ordered Stanbic to compensate Savenda management K192 million for negligently listing it as a bad debtor when the company was very solvent and paying its debts.

Several people including Bishop John Mambo have since reported the matter to DEC and ACC for investigation.

But judge Mambilima has laughed off suggestions that she could be investigated by the police. According to people very close to Mambilima, she has been assuring her colleagues who were bribed that they will not even be investigated.

Judge Mambilima has told one of the judges that she has already written to the ACC telling them to stay away from the judiciary. According to Mambilima, judges can not be investigated by the police or ACC but can only be taken to the Judicial Complaints Authority no matter what crime they commit.

Meanwhile, Brebner Changala has accused the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of wrong doing in the same Savenda and Stanbic controversial matter.

In a letter to  Mambilima, Changala said that the case of Savenda must be revisited and the high court judgment restored.

Mambilima

“My Lady, the case of Savenda, the High Court determined all issues before it in a reasoned fashion, based on undisputed evidence. My Lady, the questions that not only me as a layman, businessman and a former banker but various citizens, including academics are asking is what happened to Savenda judgment in the Supreme Court? Who owed a higher duty of care; a banker who is a professional and a customer who only has to act in good faith? Obviously, it’s the banker.The Court found that Stanbic Bank broke the law by not complying with the mandatory provision to inform the customer before reporting him to CRB. My Lady, can there be a legal wrong without sanction? Obviously not My Lady. The Court failed to acknowledge the commercial damages suffered by Savenda by its failure to raise money in the financial market and external funders because of the illegal CRB report by Stanbic Bank.”

Changala said it was  wrong to fail to understand that any business rely on the banks to raise capital and if one black-stained them, they lose acknowledged by the High Court and yet inappropriately misunderstood and rejected by both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

“My Lady, Savenda was partially successful in the Court of Appeal and partially in the Supreme Court when these courts ruled that Stanbic Bank was negligent and did not comply with the mandatory provisions to notify Savenda and yet in computing costs Savenda was wholly condemned like the action was frivolous and vexatious. My Lady, It’s authorship of reckless judgments which lead to the conception that money has exchanged hands even if it were not so, especially when a judgment is in favour of the powerful. The judge ought to explain his reasons and the law in very clear language as Dr Hamalengwa writes -(All it needs are men and women of steely character who speak through well reasoned and crafted judgments that are free from bias, incompetence but based on evidence). Dr Hamalengwa goes on farther and states that sometimes the judiciary suffer from self-inflicted wounds. Take the Savenda case for example. Stanbic acknowledged that their system did not capture the installments paid by Savenda and promised to correct that oversight but never did. It was on that basis that the High Court trial judge found in favour of Savenda. One can quarrel with the amounts awarded but not the reasoning. But that important fact disappeared in the Supreme Court of Zambia analysis. And analyses were expected to be silent on this. That judges need not be defended because they defend themselves by the quality of their judgments, rulings and orders,” Changala said.

“My Lady, there have been calls from LAZ and the Judiciary that those not satisfied with judgments can appeal or apply for review or motion. What these calls are oblivious of is who pays the hefty legal fees to perfect a reckless judgment? It’s the appellant or applicant for review or motion. My Lady, money is property, these incompetent judges will be depriving the victim constructively of his property, whose deprivation is a violation of a fundamental human right of which your articulation My Lady in Resident Doctor Association Case is admirable. In this one matter you contributed to the maintenance and sustenance of human rights in Zambia. Personally, as civil rights activists, I have the passion to fight injustice regardless of the victim. It can be the disgraced, the exalted, the rich or poor or indeed the judges. The injustice creeping into the judicial offices cannot remain unrestrained and can never or ought never to be insulated by Judges taking refuge or shelter by invoking contempt of court proceedings against those whose fundamental human rights violated,” said Changala.

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