Chikopa Tribunal to sit?

The infamous Judge Lovemore Chikopa Tribunal is tomorrow expected to start sitting to hear the case against Supreme Court Judge Phillip Musonda; this is in spite of his resignation from the judiciary.

The sitting, if it takes off, will also go against all previous precedence where the tribunals have been stopped once officers had resigned.

This was the case in the tribunal against Judge Kabaso Chanda and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mebelo Kalima which were stopped after the officers resigned.

But in this case, the Chikopa tribunal is expected to proceed for a mission.

The sources confirmed that criminals have been lined up to testify against the judges so that the lies they told against judges can be validated.

Sources at the Ministry of Justice told the Nation that the final outcome of the tribunal is expected to be criminal prosecution against the judges in order to justify challenges against the three judges in matters concerning Zambian Airways and Tedworth properties where the complainants are major drivers of the tribunal have been found culpable.

“This is a carefully planned and neatly conceived conspiracy to implicate the judges. One of people expected to testify is Mohan, currently under a murder charge but convicted in various other cases. He is being used to implicate the Judges to facilitate their prosecution.

“When one has resigned from an institution, a disciplinary committee should not insist on proceeding to adjudicate over the allegations unless there are ulterior motives involved,” the source revealed.

The Judge Chikopa Tribunal was constituted by President Sata to probe corruption charges against the three suspended judges but the judges had complained that they were not aware of any complainant in the said Tribunal.

The judges have further contended that the matter on which the Tribunal was constituted was in court.

In her dissenting judgment on the Chikopa Tribunal, Judge Hilda Chibomba said it was common knowledge that an appeal has been lodged in one of the cases that led to the appointment of the Tribunal by some of the parties and is pending judgment in the Supreme Court.Section 25 (1) of the Judicial code of conduct states that any member of the public who has a complaint the Judicial Officer or who alleges or has reasonable ground to believe that the Judicial Officer has contravened this Act shall inform the Authority.Justice Chibomba said the events leading to the appointment of the Tribunal also stemmed from the respondents’ performance of their judicial functions as Judges and added that the independence of the Judiciary must be guarded by all and that an enabling environment must be created so that Judges work freely and fairly without feeling that at any stage a displeased litigant can complain to the Head of State and a Tribunal will be appointed.  In her dissenting Judgment Justice Elizabeth Muyovwe said that it has been stated in the majority that although the President has unfettered discretion under Article 98 (3), it is believed that it would be advisable considering the circumstances of this matter for the Tribunal not to proceed.