There was drama at the Lusaka magistrates’ court yesterday when William Harrington, through his legal counsel, asked the court not to entertain a lengthy adjournment being sought by the state in the Masebo corruption inquiry case.
The was after state asked the court to adjourn for 21 days the case were William Harrington is challenging the decision by acting Chief justice Lombe Chibesakunda not to constitute a tribunal to investigate corruption charges against tourism and arts minister, Sylvia Masebo.
When the matter came up for inter parte hearing yesterday, the court was expected to hear the arguments from Harrington’s lawyer Gilbert Phiri and the Attorney General’s chambers. However, the chief state advocate, despite having received the written submissions from the applicant’s lawyers, requested that he be given an additional 21 days to file written submissions.
Harrington, speaking through Phiri, contended that the adjournment being sought by the state was excessive as he would equally need time to respond to the written submissions.
The court, in its ruling, agreed with Harrington’s argument and consequently ordered the state to instead make submissions within 14 days from yesterday, and that Harrington should respond within seven days after the state’s submission.
After the Harrington response, the court will enter judgment on whether a tribunal should be constituted to investigate alleged corrupt acts by tourism minister Sylvia Masebo. The verdict will be delivered in open court.