CJ insists on meeting with Harrington

 The acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda has insisted on meeting Former Transport Minister William Harrington who has written to request for a tribunal to investigate allegations of abuse of office against Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo.

Mr Harrington told the Daily Nation that he expects to know whether the tribunal will be appointed or not, by the end of this week.

He confirmed receiving a letter from the Chief Justice ‘s office asking him to attend a meeting regarding the allegations levelled against Ms Masebo.

He however vowed not to relent over the Masebo tribunal because it was of national interest and that he compliedwith the request so that the tribunal was appointed.

.”I will make sure I comply with the office of the Chief Justice so that the tribunal is appointed to investigate the alleged abuse of public office by Tourism minister Ms Masebo. And this letter from the office of the Chief Justice gives assurance to me that the offer is still open, and I do not doubt it at all,” he said.

Mr Harrington said he was consulting with various stakeholders to see how best he could meet the expectations, as he did not fully appreciate the new procedure which appeared to depart from the laid down procedure which only required a complainant to write.

He insisted that it was a mandatory by law that a tribunal be appointed by the Chief Justice where a formal application had been made.

And Mr Harrington has commended the UPND’s intention to seek judiciary review over the delays by the acting Justice Lombe Chibesakunda to appoint a tribunal against Ms Masebo.

He said UPND had every right to be concerned on the basis that the proceedings were taking long.

“I am not in a position to politicise the process, but they say ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ and the UPND has every right to express their views because this process has taken too long. I appreciate such concerns,” he said.

And Mr Harrington has had to resubmit his application to the office of the chief justice at least twice despite having fulfilled all requirements for a tribunal to be constituted.

Among other things submitted in his re-application was a list of 14 persons who could be subpoenaed by the tribunal for purposes of verifying print and electronic media publications as requested by the office of the Chief Justice.