Chikopa determined to proceed

Judge Lovemore Chikopa, the embattled Malawian Judge has defied logic by declaring that his infamous tribunal set up by President Michael Sata to investigate resigned Supreme Court Judge Philip Musonda and two High Court Judges Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna would go ahead despite the Supreme Court Judge having resigned.

Article 98 (3) (a) and (b) of the constitution reads: “If the President considers that the question of removing a judge of the Supreme Court or the High Court under this article ought to be investigated shall appoint a tribunal which shall consist of a chairman and not less than two other members, who hold or have held high judicial office.

The tribunal shall inquire into the matter and report on the facts thereof to the President and advise the President whether the judge ought to be removed from office under this article for inability as aforesaid or for misbehaviour.”

Defence lawyers have argued that the tribunal could not continue its sitting because the resignation of Judge Musonda had pre-empted what would have been its findings but

Judge Chikopa seems determined to have Judge Musonda found wanting.

Last week President Sata accepted Judge Musonda resignation in a measure that was widely expected to put an end to the tribunal.

Sources within the tribunal have told the Daily Nation that it was surprising that Judge Chikopa was determined to go ahead with his tribunal even after Judge Musonda had resigned.

The Chikopa tribunal has been in limbo following the resignation of Judge Musonda and the stay of execution ruled by Ndola High Court Judge Mwiinde Siavwapa after Judges Kajimanga and Mutuna challenged the constitutionality of the tribunal.

Even after Judge Musonda had confirmed his resignation, the Chikopa Tribunal has continued considering the former Supreme Court Judge as a sitting and substantive Judge.  Judge Chikopa has since adjourned his tribunal to July 16, 2013.