Chikopa Tribunal starts today?

The infamous Chikopa Tribunal constituted by President Michael Sata to probe three suspended judges is expected to take off today.
But the tribunal’s legality has been challenged in Lusaka High Court by  two judges, Justices Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga who have cited the failure to comply with basic tenets of the rule of natural justice with respect to fair hearing as well as failure to separate the investigative and adjudicative process of the tribunal proceeding.
Sources yesterday however said that the hearing today would centre on  preliminary issues raised by the defence team representing the two judges.
The two judges have argued that the Tribunal to be presided by Malawian Judge Lovemore Chikopa has violated natural justice rules and was therefore illegal, null and void for among other things not stating who the complainants are because ordinarily in any trial there should be a specific charge and a complainant.
The judges who have filed a judicial review application in the High Court are now seeking an order to quash the tribunal for its illegality.
They have argued that the procedure as published in the newspaper had failed to personally and formally bring to their attention the charges against them and the issues to be determined.
They have further contended that they were not given enough notice of the proceedings to enable then prepare adequately and exercise their constitutional right to protection of law.
Judge Chikopa has been at the centre of controversy for having stayed in Zambia for over a year doing nothing after legal battles by the accused judges torpedoed the tribunal from taking off.
His stay in Zambia has attracted a lot of criticism from the opposition and th civil society who showed concerned over the manner tax payers money was being wasted on the idling Judge Chikopa.

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