Mutembo asks High Court to stop tribunal from trying him secretly

Suspended Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito has asked the High Court to stop the tribunal tasked to probe him from proceeding in secret. And in his application for judicial review filed in the Lusaka High Court principal registry yesterday, Mutembo described as legally irrational the decision by tribunal chairperson Annel Silungwe to allow justices Matthew Ngulube and Ernest Sakala to continue as tribunal members despite clearly established bias.

“An order is sought for the purpose of quashing the decision by the tribunal that justices Matthew Ngulube and Ernest Sakala should not recuse themselves in spite of clearly established bias, both apparent and actual on their parts. An order is sought for the purpose of quashing the decision by the tribunal that its sittings be held in camera in spite of the highly public genesis of this matter and the public and contumelious abuse the applicant has suffered at the hands of his accusers including being arrested on a warrant issued by a court that had no jurisdiction over him,” he stated. Mutembo further challenged the decision made by the tribunal, which said the terms of reference did not need to be drafted to conform to the stipulations of the Constitution.

“An order is sought for the purpose of quashing the decision by the tribunal that the President as appointing authority can add charges after the tribunal has been set up without recourse to the tribunal and the applicant, thereby creating the impression that if he so wishes, the President can keep adding charges and thereby create a tribunal in perpetuity notwithstanding that the applicant remains on suspension during this period,” read the application in part. Mutembo is further seeking an order to quash the decision by the tribunal to hold sittings and even make rulings without there being procedure set up for such sittings by the appointing authority. “An order is sought for the purpose of quashing the tribunal’s decision to commence such sittings to inquire into matters that are the subject of of appeal in the High Court and Supreme Court in cases number HPA/08/2015 and SCZ/9/50/2015. An order is sought to quash the decision by the tribunal communicated to the applicant to on March 16, 2015 to sit in camera, which decision was made without affording the applicant an opportunity to be heard,” read the application in part. 

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