Former State House press aide in the Chiluba government Richard Sakala has appealed to the Supreme Court against his conviction because of the prejudicial manner in which his cases were handled.
According to the grounds of appeal, filed at the Supreme Court by his lawyer Marshal Muchende of Dindi and Company, the High Court completely ignored an application that was pending to cite Fred M’membe and the Post Newspapers Limited for contempt over prejudicial editorials published in the paper.
On two occasions M’membe wrote false and prejudicial editorials sugesting that the appeal had been lost long before judgement was passed.
According to the Appeal, the Judge abrogated her duty to do justice by pronouncing the judgment when there was a pending application for committal proceedings against the Post Newspaper and its editor for publishing articles pre-empting the verdict of the judgment even before the release of the judgment.
The Judge according to the grounds turned a blind eye on a pending application for committal proceedings against the Post and its editor when serious issues which demonstrated there was leaked information of the judgment, against the fundamental principle of ‘fair trial’.
In Ground 3 that “in alternative, the learned Judge below erred in law and in act by distinguishing this case from the case of Kambarange Mpundu Kaunda vs The People (1992) when like in the said Kambarange case the then Director of Public Persecutions (DPP) late Mukelebain Mukelebai made express pronouncement on April 24, 2002 that the charge of theft of motor vehicle would not be preferred against the Appellant because the Presidential Housing Initiative (PHI) was not legal entity”.
He further charged that the Judge gravely erred by holding the statement as she did, that the then DPP merely expressed his personal opinion when it was in fact the decision by the prosecutor not to prefer the charge of theft of motor vehicle against the in exercise of his exclusive powers under Article 56 (3) and (5) of the Constitution of Zambia and section 86 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CDC). And in Ground 5, he indicated that the Court misguided herself when she ignored evidence that showed criminal proceedings against the Appellant were flawed and therefore nullified violations of Article 56 (7) of the Constitution, Section 89 (1) of the CPC since the private prosecutor Mutembo Nchito was neither appointed nor permitted by the them DPP but was later imposed by President Levy Mwanawasa to prosecute against the appellant. And in Ground 6, Sakala says that “the learned Judge further misdirected herself and fell into grave error when she rejected the argument and ignored evidence suggesting that the indictment was sanctioned by the DPP was substituted without a fresh FIAT the then learned DPP Mukelebai (late) and therefore bad at law”.
The matter was handled by Justice Flavour Chishimba.