Judge Chikopa go home

Contrary to statements by Vice President Guy Scott that the Chikopa tribunal was on, the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) says the Supreme Court is yet to determine whether President Michael Sata was right to constitute a tribunal to probe the two High Court and one Supreme Court judges that he suspended last year.

LAZ President James Banda said the case was still before the highest court in the land and wondered how and why Vice President Guy Scott could say the tribunal was on.

Dr Scott announced in parliament last Friday that Malawian Judge Lovemore Chikopa was in the country and that the tribunal for the judges was on.

Mr Banda said it was not yet clear why the vice President decided to make such a statement because in as long as the matter was not disposed off by the court, there could be  tribunal, unless the VP was privy to different sources of information.

He said it was a total waste of resources by government to have the foreign judge in the country because there was nothing he was doing.

“If what you are saying is true then it is shocking because judge Chikopa should have a heart and bear in mind the resources that are being wasted.

This is difficult to understand because the matter in as far as we are concerned was still in court and has not yet been disposed of.

“The Supreme Court is yet to determine whether President Sata had properly constituted the tribunal or not. After this that is when we expect to know the way forward,” Banda said.

He said that it was very unfortunate that the state was talking about the tribunal when that matter was in court and that this would raise suspicion among members of the public.

President Sata last year suspended Supreme Court Judge Philip Musonda, High Court Judges Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga on corruption allegations.

Mr Sata then constituted a tribunal to probe the three judges which was supposed to be chaired by the Malawian Judge.

However, the three judges appealed against their suspension and High Court Judge Fulgence Chisanga upheld the suspension and this decision resulted in an appeal by the state into the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court is yet to rule whether Mr Sata’s action was correct or not.