High Court demands for misconduct report

The Lusaka High Court has ordered that the State produces a record of proceedings of the disciplinary committee in a matter in which Beatrice Mulako Mukinga had reported High Court Judge Nicola Sharpe Phiri to the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) for gross professional misconduct and dishonest transactions when she was a lawyer.

Ms Mukinga has charged that Justice Sharpe Phiri and her law firm Sharpe & Howard Legal Practitioners were professionally at fault for ignoring both the High Court and Supreme Court judgments on  property number 1944 in Kitwe which was at the time a subject of matrimonial proceedings before it was fraudulently sold.

Ms Mukinga in her affidavit stated that in 2002, she caused a caveat to be placed on Stand number 1944 in Kitwe and that the Supreme Court in 2006 ruled in her favour having adduced sufficient evidence to prove that she had interest in the said property.

She said even after the Supreme Court judgment was registered in the Lands and Deeds Registry, Justice Sharpe Phiri with her firm filed an application for President’s Consent to Assign and that the said consent was issued within a day.

Ms Mukinga said the application for President’s Consent to Assign was done in contumelious disregard of the fact that she (Mukinga) had placed a caveat on the said property as well as registered the Supreme Court judgment in the Lands and Deeds Registry which ruled that she had an interest in the property.

She  argued that Justice Sharpe Phiri and her legal firm did not act professionally as her application for President’s Consent to Assign was in total defiance of the fact that there existed a caveat over the property in dispute.

Ms Mukinga said in her attempt to have Justice Sharpe Phiri disciplined for her professional misconduct, she wrote to the director general of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate her (Justice Sharpe Phiri).

In 2003, she said she complained against Messrs Sharpe and Howard for professional misconduct to the Legal Practitioners Committee of the Law Association of Zambia for the manner in which the firm had acted in the conveyance of Stand number 1944 in Kitwe knowing too well that their client (Kevin C Fuller) was a non-Zambian and could not own property in contravention of the provision of the law relating to land and property ownership.

“Upon learning that Nicola Sharpe Phiri was being considered for the appointment as a Puisne Judge, I objected to her appointment to the then Chief Justice Ernest Sakala in which I clearly stated that there was a complaint against Messrs Sharpe and Howard and in particular Nicola Sharpe Phiri that were pending before the Legal Practitioners Committee. Despite an existing caveat and the judgment of the courts, Nicola Sharpe Phiri obtained President’s Consent to Assign to fraudulently facilitate the sale of the property in dispute. Nicola Sharpe Phiri and her firm should be disciplined for gross professional misconduct and dishonest transactions,’ Ms Mukinga said.

 

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