Heritage Party (HP) President Godfrey Miyanda has demanded for the immediate deportation of Lovemore Chikopa, the imported Malawian Judge chairing President Michael Sata’s tribunal established to investigate the alleged misconduct of former Supreme Court Judge Philip Musonda and two High Court Judges Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna.
General Miyanda has also said Judge Chikopa should declare interest and recuse himself from persecuting the three Zambian Judges because there was no national interest being served by paying the Malawian Judge money without him earning it.
He stated that the tribunal was a circus because of the issues surrounding it and that paying Judge Chikopa was a wasteful expenditure bordering on obtaining money by false pretences.
Gen Miyanda said the latest issues surrounding the tribunal circus had made the continued stay of Judge Chikopa in Zambia unacceptable and he should therefore consider going back to his country.
Gen Miyanda explained that opposition political parties, the civil society organizations and other enlightened Zambians had made a strong case against the continued stay of Judge Chikopa in the country stating that there was no doubt that the Malawian Judge did not merit to preside over the tribunal.
He said although Judge Chikopa may have forgotten his special links with President Sata, the Malawian Judge was being reminded that he had a good excuse not to continue remaining in Zambia and getting money he was not earning.
Gen Miyanda said Judge Chikopa should not think that the Heritage party was being personal or discriminating against him because his party had started raising questions intransigent government actions a long time ago.
Gen Miyanda explained that should there be need for the tribunal to continue after the deportation of Judge Chikopa, the government would have to consider appointing a qualified Zambian to head the tribunal.
He said there was need for courts to exhaust all constitutional challenges before the tribunal could resume its proceedings after Judge Chikopa had left the country.
“We urge Judge Chikopa to quickly declare interest and recuse himself from further prosecuting the three Zambian Judges. Judge Chikopa may have forgotten his special links with President Sata but now that we have reminded him, he has a good excuse not to remain in Zambia. In fact, he should be deported forthwith and if there will be need to continue with the tribunal after all the constitutional challenges have been exhausted in our courts, then qualified Zambians should be appointed,” Gen Miyanda said.
Gen Miyanda recalled that when late President Levy Mwanawasa set up a tribunal to probe the former DPP Mukelabai Mukelabai, his party was the only one that objected and engaged the judiciary about the saga.
He stated that his party was of the belief that there was constitutional misconduct on the part of the executive adding that there had been a predetermined intention to unconstitutionally hound the then DPP out of his protected office.
The infamous Chikopa Tribunal has since its set up suffered several injunctions with the first having been delivered by High Court Judge Fulgence Chisanga who branded the tribunal illegal and premature.
The Supreme Court had also advised against the tribunal going ahead until all constitutional issues surrounding the suspension of the three judges were resolved but government went against the advice and ordered that Judge Chikopa should commence sittings.
The Chikopa Tribunal was again halted after Ndola High Court Judge Mwiinde Siavwapa granted Judges Kajimanga and Mutuna leave to commence judicial review proceedings to challenge the constitutionality of the tribunal.
President Sata suspended Supreme Court Judge Philip Musonda, High Court Judges Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna over the case involving the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito, JNC Holdings Limited and The Post newspaper in the Development Bank of Zambian (DBZ) loan scandal.