Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda is to be taken to court in judicial review proceedings to challenge her decision refusing to set up a tribunal to investigate allegations of corruption and abuse of office against Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo.
UPND official Douglas Syakalima said the decision not to investigate Ms Masebo was highly suspicious and irregular, because the petitioner William Harrington a former Transport Minister met all the requirements and conditions as provided for in the ministerial code of conduct and other subsidiary laws.
Mr. Syakalima warned that UPND and himself were not going to lie down and watch the rape of the laws of the land by protecting suspected corrupt individuals in government.
It was unfortunate, he said, that the Chief Justice had denied Masebo a chance to clear herself from the corruption allegations leveled against her.
“I therefore have no alternative but to label her decision to refuse the tribunal irregular and unreasonable,” Mr. Syakalima said.
“There was now every reason to doubt that politically charged cases will receive a fair hearing,” he said
“We are not going to lie low seeing Madam Chibesakunda reformatting our justice system in the manner she is doing by refusing to test wrong things in court of law and tribunals where proper justice would prevail,” said.
He also demanded that the Acting Chief Justice resigns on moral grounds for putting Ms. Masebo in a precarious situation by failing to allow her clear her name through a tribunal.
Mr. Syakalima said the judiciary was a major pillar of governance to which the people looked up for guidance, support and interpretation of the law where conflicts developed.
Justice Lombe has refused to institute a tribunal to investigate allegations of corruption leveled against Ms Masebo without giving reasons for her decision apart from stating that Mr Harrington did not meet the benchmarks.
The refusal is contained in a letter by acting Chief Justice Florence Mumba who states :”I am (Florence Mumba) directed to inform you that as the basis upon which to appoint a tribunal is not sufficient and does not meet the requirements of the relevant law, it is not possible for the acting Chief Justice to appoint a tribunal” reads the letter dated April 23, 2013 in part.