Set tribunal against Kabimba, Chibesakunda challenged

Renowned civil rights activist Brebner Changala and former Solwezi Member of Parliament Lucky Mulusa have challenged the Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda to clarify her position on the establishment of the tribunal against Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Wynter Kabimba.

Changala and Mulusa would  want Kabimba to explain why he had used government legal opinion offered to him in his capacity as Justice Minister by Solicitor General Musa Mwenye on the nullification of the Petauke Central, Malambo and Mulobezi parliamentary seats.

Acting Chief Justice Chibesakunda has informed Changala and Mulusa that she would only be able to set up a tribunal against Kabimba immediately logistics were in place.

In a letter dated Janury 3rd, 2014 to Acting Chief Justice, Changala said he was writing to seek clarification  on what Justice Chibesakunda meant when the stated in her letter that she would set up a tribunal against Kabimba immediately logistics were in place.

Changala said that his understanding and that of his counterpart Mulusa was that the establishement of the tribunal against Kabimba would depend on the availablity of funds.

Changala said he, together with Mulusa had read the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act Cap 16 of the laws of Zambia and that the law did not make the appointment of the Tribunal conditional.

Changala said the according to the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct, the establishment of the tribunal did not depend on the availability of funds.

He said it was his position and that of Mulusa that the Tribunal against Kabimba be appointed and notices sent to the President and Speaker of the National Assembly.

He said the question of logistics would only come after the Tribunal had been established.

“We hereby acknowledge reciept of your letter dated December 30th, 2013 and thank you most sincerely for your efficiency in responding to our application. However, we write to seek clarification on what you meant when you wrote to say that the Acting Chief Justice will set the tribunal immediately logistics are in place. If we understand that to mean availability of funds, our reading of the Pariamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act does not make the appointment of the tribunal conditional on the availability of funds,” Changala said.

Changala and Mulusa had petitioned Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda to constitute a tribunal to investigate Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba for abuse of office when he used a government legal opinion and sought to influence the Supreme Court to pursue a private agenda of the Patriotic Front.

Changala and Mulusa petitioned Justice Chibesakunda to establish a tribunal against Kabimba who is secretary general of the ruling PF so that he could explain why he had used government legal opinion offered to him in his capacity as Justice Minister by Solicitor General Musa Mwenye on the nullification of the Petauke Central, Malambo and Mulobezi parliamentary seats.

In a letter dated December 24th 2013 addressed to the Acting Chief Justice Chibesakunda, Changala and Mulusa have applied that the tribunal to be established should investigate whether or not Kabimba as Justice Minister had breached his oath of secrecy when he released a classified government legal opinion for use by the PF.

The duo would also want Kabimba to be investigated on whether or not the letter on a PF letterhead by Kabimba to the lawyers of the Patriotic Front and copied to Acting Chief Justice Chibesakunda constituted interference with the independence of the judiciary as guaranteed by the constitution.

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