Court allows Sampa to be heard


LUSAKA High Court Judge Mungeni Mulenga has allowed Matero Member of Parliament Miles Sampa to be heard despite facing contempt of court charges.

Ms Justice Mulenga has set January 21, 2015 as the date for the inter parte hearing between the two parties.

In her ruling yesterday, Ms Justice Mulenga said she had exercised her discretion to hear Mr Sampa on his application for joinder.

This is the matter in which Mr Sampa, Kasama Central Member of Parliament Geoffrey Bwalya and former diplomat Captain Selemani Phangula Banda applied to be joined as interveners.

The trio sued Patriotic Front (PF) national chairperson Inonge Wina and pary secretary general Davies Chama for entering a consent judgment which confirmed the election of Minister of Justice Edgar Lungu.

Ms Justice Mulenga said contempt of court proceedings have not been commenced or concluded and that there was no committal order against Mr Sampa.

She said contempt could not fall under the exceptions and that the court has exercised discretion to hear an alleged contemnor.

“On the facts of this case, I exercise my discretion to hear the 1st intervener on his application for joinder,” Ms Justice Mulenga said.

She said the court could only refuse to hear a party when the contempt impedes the course of justice or makes it difficult for it to ascertain the truth or enforce its orders.

“The issue for determination is essentially whether or not the 1st intended intervener should be heard before he purges his contempt. This clearly indicates that the application only affects the 1st intended intervener and not the other two because the leave to commence committal proceedings only affects him,” she said.

Earlier Ms Wina’s lawyers submitted that Mr Sampa had not purged his contempt and does not fall in the exceptions of being heard before that application was made.

The lawyers submitted that the court was implored to take judicial notice of a notorious fact that Mr Sampa was a continuing contemnor since the consent judgment confirmed the injunction.

The lawyers said a person commits contempt if either he was served or somehow there was evidence that he knew the content of the order and disobeyed it.