Judges challenge tribunal

The two High Court judges suspended by President Michael Sata pending a tribunal hearing chaired by Malawian Judge Lovemore Chikopa have challenged the constitutionality of the tribunal.

The two judges Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga, have challenged the constitutionality of the tribunal as it appeared to have no legal framework consistent with their constitutional rights and defies the rule of natural justice.

They have also stated that the Tribunal did not give them sufficient time and adequate notice of its proceedings in which to prepare.

Last week dissenting judges in Supreme Court noted that the institution of the tribunal was unprocedural and that it was not investigative as the judges had already been suspended and the final outcome of the tribunal would be a definitive.

The dissenting judges also noted that it was improper that the president had instituted a tribunal on the basis of “impeccable information” when it was clear that the litigants JCM, Post Newspapers and Mutembo Nchito, were the complainants and also had appealed to the Supreme Court against the decision of the High Court as determined by Judge Nigel Mutuna.

The judges felt that the matter should have gone through the judicial complaints Authority which would have vetted the complaint before recommending to the President to institute a tribunal.

The majority judgement of the Supreme court advised that the tribunal should not proceed because of the circumstances and constitutional issues raised.