The Zambian judges being harassed by the PF government for taking a principled stand on the K14 billion which DPP Mutembo Nchito and Fred M’membe owe the Development Bank of Zambia now want the Malawian Judge Lovemore Chikopa cited for contempt of court.
Judges Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga have applied for an order to commence contempt proceedings against Malawian Judge Lovemore Chikopa for disobeying the court order that stayed the Tribunal proceedings.
The duo stated that the stay was ordered on June 5, this year but notwithstanding the order of the court, Mr Chikopa had continued to engage in acts contrary to the court’s order by issuing letters requesting witnesses to appear before the Tribunal.
“With full knowledge of the Order of Stay of the proceedings of the said Tribunal duly issued by the Higher Court, Justice Chikopa continued to sit and chair the Tribunal and conducted hearings in the month of July whereat evidence relating to the applicants was received from witnesses,” they said.
In their statement verifying ex-parte summons for an order for leave to commence committal proceedings against Mr Chikopa as chairperson of the tribunal and his secretary Chipili Magayane, the duo indicated that the contemnors’ conduct of proceeding with the hearings notwithstanding the order for a stay was disobedience of court proceedings.
The two judges were suspended by president Michael Sata after one of them passed a judgment that M’membe and Nchito should pay back the K14 billion they owe the Development Bank of Zambia.
President Michael Sata then hired a Malawian judge Lovemore Chikopa to come and chair a tribunal against the two plus another Supreme Court Justice Philip Musonda.
Chikopa is believed to be a brother of Sata’s former Malawian wife.