The Wynter Kabimba Tribunal was nothing but a sham and disgrace of the highest order, civil rights activist Brebner Changala has charged.
The Tribunal yesterday handed over the Report of its findings to President Michael Sata and the Speaker to the National Assembly respectively, and reportedly to Minister of Justice Kabimba, but the two petitioners Changala and former Solwezi Member of Parliament Lucky Mulusa have not been given copies.
Changala said the whole process was predetermined and was only there for window dressing because the petitioners were treated as mere spectators with no role to play.
Changala accused the Tribunal of hijacking the proceedings of the tribunal and that it was incomprehensible, that the tribunal did not give a chance to the petitioners to call witnesses, “instead they called witnesses they deemed fit based on their consideration and not on the basis of our complaint.
“Judge Hamaundu stopped us from calling critical witnesses who would have testified that after the letter from Kabimba the acting Chief Justice, the Registrar, the Public Relations Officer and more importantly the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Zambia Judge Ireen Mambilima took action that was reported widely.
Zambians will never know what happened because this evidence which we had intended to call was blocked,” he said.
And the second petitioner, Mulusa told journalists outside the Supreme Court buildings that the tribunal had cleared Kabimba of allegations of breaching the law in his conduct as Justice Minister.
Mulusa condemned the verdict and described the entire justice system in Zambia as laughable.
“The tribunal is saying Kabimba didn’t breach any law when a Supreme Court ruling said that Kabimba’s copying of that letter and passing on the opinion from Solicitor General to the Acting Chief Justice gave a perception that there was interference in the matter.
So the Supreme Court took a stand that this is what it means and then to have a tribunal comprising High Court judges rule otherwise, I can assure you that the entire judiciary is now a laughing stock,” Mulusa charged.
He explained that it was no wonder the Judiciary had stopped referring to themselves as learned people, and that “they are not even educated because how can High Court Judges in a tribunal over rule Supreme Court Judges? This is very unfortunate.”
He said the whole country saw the Judiciary and the ECZ move at the instance of the letter and yet witnesses could not be called.
Changala expressed disappointment at what had happened saying that “what has transpired during this tribunal could never happen anywhere where justice flows like a river.
He explained that as petitioners, the former law maker and himselfwere turned into mere spectators of the proceedings such that they did not even receive copies of the final Report as it was being presented to the Republican President and the Speaker.
“Mr. Mulusa and I have not yet been served with the findings of the Tribunal although we have been verbally briefed, that it has no recommendations and that the Report clears Kabimba as it does not find him with any misdemeanor.
But in the name of posterity, Judge Hamaundu’s character and integrity on the bench is now highly questionable and anybody who appears before him is doing so at their own risk,” he said.
He has however congratulated Hamaundu for his new appointment to the Supreme Court Bench.
Changala and Mulusa had petitioned the acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda to set up a tribunal to investigate whether Justice Minister, Kabimba breached the Constitution and the Oath of Secrecy when he shared a legal opinion from Solicitor General Musa Mwenya with Justice Chibesakunda over the nullification of the opposition MMD seats.