The UPND presidential petition has been adjourned to April 12 to allow Attorney General Likando Kalaluka to respond to the UPND’s application to compel judge Mwila Chitabo to recuse himself on grounds that there was reasonable cause to question his impartiality.
In a normal country, Chitabo could have just stepped aside for a neutral judge instead of insisting to hear a matter when has demonstrated hatred for the petitioners.
Why would he want to hear from Kalaluka when it’s him whose integrity and impartiality has been questioned?
So after hearing Kalaluka, what is he going to do, make a judgment in favour of himself or against himself? Is this not total rubbish? How can a person be the judge in the case where he is also the accused?
When litigants say they don’t trust the judge, it is in the interest of justice for that judge to recuse himself. Zambia is not short of judges for Chitabo to insist on hearing this matter? What vested interest has he got in this matter?
On Tuesday, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and his vice Geoffery Bwalya Mwamba filed a motion to compel Lusaka High Court judge Mwila Chitabo to recuse himself from presiding over their presidential petition.
“Take notice that Hakainde Hichilema and Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, the petitioners above named shall at the intended hearing of this petition on the 15th March, 2017 at 09:00 hours (or any other date hereof) to move this honorable court to on an application on the part of the said petitioners that His Lordship Justice Mwila Chitabo SC, does recuse himself from presiding over this matter and that the matter be transferred to another judge, or panel of judges of the High Court on the following grounds, that is to say: that there is reasonable cause to question his Lordships impartiality in this matter on the grounds of personal bias or perceived bias in his conduct of the proceedings; and that his Lordship cannot otherwise preside over this matter due to a conflict of interest which disqualifies him from so presiding. Take further notice that that petitioners will rely, inter alia, on their joint affidavit in support of the motion and skeleton argument filed herewith,” read the notice of motion.