Wynter Tribunal set up

Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda has constituted a three member Tribunal to investigate Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba for abuse of office, judicial sources have revealed.

Justice Chibesakunda has since notified President Michael Sata and the Speaker of the National Assembly on the establishement of a tribunal against Kabimba.

The Tribunal would be chaired by Justice Evans Hamaundu while Justice Getrude Chawatama and Justice Justin Chashi were the other members.

The tribunal has been established to investigate Kabimba who is Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general for passing government legal opinion rendered to him in his capacity as chief justice by Solicitor General Musa Mwenye to private lawyers representing the ruling party.

The opinion was also sent to acting chief justice Chibesakunda in a move which was condemned by the Supreme Court.

Prominent civil rights activists Brebner Changala and former MMD Solwezi Central Member of Parliament Lucky Mulusa had petitioned Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda to establish a tribunal against Kabimba so that he could explain why he had used government legal opinion offered to him in his capacity as Justice Minister by Mwenye on the nullification of the Petauke Central, Malambo and Mulobezi parliamentary seats.

The duo also wanted Kabimba to be investigated on whether the letter copied to Acting Chief Justice Chibesakunda constituted interference with the independence of the judiciary as guaranteed by the constitution.

The matter arises from a  ruling in a case in which MMD president Nevers Mumba was charged with contempt of court. It was revealed that Kabimba had used government legal opinion on a Patriotic Front letterhead which letter was copied to the Acting Chief Justice and President Sata on the nullification of Petauke, Malambo and Mulobezi parliamentary seats respectively. In their petition to Justice Chibesakunda, Changala and Mulusa were demanding that Kabimba should be made to explain through the tribunal whether or not he was in breach of the law when he used government legal opinion to pursue a private agenda through Leonard Banda who was a private litigant.