Ailing dictator Michael Sata’s desire to punish opposition leaders using the judiciary flopped today when the supreme court discharged MMD president Nevers Mumba of contempt charges.
Soon after the verdict at supreme court, Mumba said the judgment was a milestone and added that he would comment in detail at an opportune time. He referred all queries to his defence lawyers.
One of the few credible Supreme Court judge completely freed Dr Mumba of the charge of contempt of court.
Justice Marvin Mwanamwamba gave Dr Mumba absolute discharge despite finding that he was guilty of contempt of court.
Absolute discharge is total discharge of a person guilty of a crime in which the accused is deemed to have not been convicted. There will not be any record as to the crime for which an absolute discharge is granted. In simple language, no one can use this case against Dr Mumba anywhere else.
Sources from state house confirmed to the Zambian Watchdog that Sata, working in league with the cartel comprising DPP Mutembo Nchito, justice minister Wynter Kabimba and Post newspapers owner Fred Mmembe had initially been scheming to have Mumba jailed by painting him evil in the eyes of the supreme court and judiciary as a whole.
The source said after it had become apparent that Mumba would not be jailed as he had not committed the alleged offences, Sata had a meeting to see how to fix Mumba but the supreme court being the highest court, found himself stuck thereby calling Mumba to urge him to ask for forgiveness.
“He was so sure that Dr. Mumba would be punished but after being told that Mumba would be left scot free, he called Nchito and Kabimba to ask if they can appeal the matter but he was told that the supreme court is the highest court in the land and that imposing a cruel judgment on Dr. Mumba would backfire. To avoid embarrassment he made efforts to have a private meeting with Dr. Mumba at which he would promise him freedom if he pleaded for it. The conversation was going to be recorded and be given to the Post so as to embarrass Mumba but it was good that Mumba stood his grounds and refused to be intimidated,” said the well placed source in an interview with the Watchdog.
According to the source, Sata was to tell Mumba that he (Mumba) would be jailed but that Sata had the power to get him off the hook if he pleaded for leniency and desist from attacking him openly but Sata was shocked that Mumba could not be pushed in that corner.
After the meeting flopped, Post newspapers have been carrying scathing editorials denouncing Dr. Mumba and the MMD in general.
The contempt of court charges were brought against Dr Mumba when he truthfully revealed that the Supreme Court is conniving with the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) to deplete the opposition through nullification of Parliamentary seats.
Passing Judgment this morning, Supreme Court Judge Marvin Mwanamwamba said the court has decided to give Dr. Mumba an Absolute Discharge of the charges of contempt of Court in view of his mitigation in which he admitted the charge and withdrew his contemptuous remarks.
Justice Mwanamwamba also notes that the court’s decision is also in view of the fact that the decision by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to bar the MMD candidate Dora Siliya to re-contest her seat after the Court nullified her election, something the contemnor was also complaining about, was induced by a Report by Registrar of the High Court and the statement the Judiciary released on the eligibility of a candidate to re-contest in a by-election after a nullification by the court.
Justice Mwanamwamba stated that the court’s judgment is further in view of the letter dated 1st of August 2013, which PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba wrote to lawyers Ellis and Company on the nullified parliamentary seats which was also copied to President Michael Sata and Acting Chief Justice office.
He ruled that copying such a letter which was also accompanied by a legal opinion to a member of the court had the implication of influencing the court’s decision and that this is why Dr. Mumba has been given an Absolute Discharge because this is exactly the matter he was complaining about when he made his contemptuous remarks against the Judiciary.