Mutembo judgment ‘delayed’

THE Supreme Court has reserved ruling in a case where the State has appealed against the High Court judgment granting judicial review to suspended Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito.

And the Supreme Court which sat in Ndola yesterday ruled that Mr Nchito would not be represented by a lawyer but would continue representing himself.

Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima said there was no appeal made by the appellant after the High Court ruling that he should engage a lawyer.

Justice Mambilima was sitting with Deputy Chief Justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa, Judge Henry Chibomba, Judge E.C. Muyovwe and Judge Evans Hamaundu.

In the appeal, the State has three grounds. In the first it argues that the High Court erred in the law and fact when it ruled that subjecting tribunals to judicial review would not result in curtailing its processes or investigative processes.

In the second, the State said the court misdirected itself in law and fact when it held that judicial review proceedings against the tribunal would not amount to interpreting Article 58 of the Constitution.

In the third ground of appeal, the State argues that the High Court erred in law and fact when it held that judicial review proceedings can lie against an investigative tribunal.

The State has argued said since the tribunal processes were investigative in nature, judicial review could not be used to curtail the processes.

“It should be noted that the President appoints the tribunal…..thus the President must act on the advice of the tribunal without discretion,’’ he said.

The State has cited the case of Attorney General versus Nigel Mutuna where it was held that a tribunal was not subject to judicial review because doing so amounted to curtailing its investigative process.

But Mr Nchito has argued that the Supreme Court acknowledged in the same case that when a tribunal is set up, it must comply with open justice principles.

Mr  Nchito has argued that the law governing judicial review in Zambia was to be found in Order 53 of the rules .

He cited the decision in the case of Mung’omba and others versus Machungwa.