Inter parte hearing in the case in which transport minister in the Chiluba government William Harrington has asked the Chief Justice to constitute a tribunal to probe tourism minister Sylvia Masebo comes up today.
And the state has indicated that constituting a tribunal to investigate a minister under the parliamentary and ministerial code of conduct Act is not something that is done lightly or hastily because the process has the potential of eroding the subject minister’s reputation and political career irretrievably.
But Harrington lawyers are expected to rebut the argument by stating that the merits or demerits of a matter could only be determined by the tribunal as the chief justice had no discretion.
The state said this in its objection to former transport minister William Harrington request for an inquiry to be set up to investigate tourism minister Sylvia Masebo on allegations of corruption.
Earlier, the state applied for adjournment of the matter because it had not yet been furnished with instructions from the acting Chief Justice, and that prompted the High Court adjourned the inter parte hearing to today August 28.According to the submission made by Harrington’s lawyer Gilbert Phiri, it was stated that the purpose of judicial review was to ensure that public bodies and officials performed their functions or duties in good faith, without malice and in accordance with the law.According to the submission by Harrington’s lawyer Gilbert Phiri, upon receipt of a complaint, the Chief Justice’s role was to simultaneously inform the President and the Speaker of the National Assembly and then proceed to constitute a tribunal.Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda refused to institute a tribunal to investigate allegations of corruption and abuse of office levelled against Masebo.