THREE former Chief Justices will preside over a Tribunal constituted by President Edgar Lungu to investigate the alleged acts of impropriety and misconduct by embattled Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito.
President Lungu has with immediate effect suspended Mr Nchito as DPP and has appointed a three-man tribunal comprising former Chief Justice Annel Silungwe, who is the chairman of the tribunal and former Chief Justices Mathew Ngulube and Ernest Sakala as member. Mathew Zulu has been appointed secretary of the tribunal.
The Head of State has appointed Lillian Shawa Siyuni to act as Director of Public Prosecutions during the period that Mr Nchito, who is facing an array of charges and accusations, will be serving his suspension and getting investigated.
There had been growing calls and demands that Mr Nchito should be suspended and a tribunal established to probe him on several charges ranging from forgery, fraud and lying before the Parliamentary Select Committee.
Two weeks ago, civil rights activist Brebner Changala petitioned President Lungu to establish a tribunal against Mr Nchito so that he could clear his name over an array of charges.
Mr Changala also demanded the suspension of Mr Nchito because his position as DPP had become untenable following his arrest and later his appearance before Lusaka Magistrate Lameck Mwale arraigned with nine offenses.
Special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda announced in a statement yesterday that President Lungu had constituted a tribunal to inquire into alleged acts of impropriety as provided for under Article 58, sub-article (2) and (3) of the Constitution of Zambia.
“His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, has with immediate effect appointed the tribunal to inquire into the alleged misconduct and alleged acts of impropriety by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Mutembo Nchito as provided for under Article 58, sub-article (2) and (3) of the Constitution of Zambia.
“Those appointed to the tribunal are Mr Justice Annel Silungwe, a former Chief Justice who is chairman, Mr Justice Mathew Ngulube and Mr Justice Ernest Sakala, both former Chief Justices as members while Mr Mathew Zulu is the secretary.
President Lungu has since suspended Mr Mutembo Nchito as Director of Public Prosecutions pending the outcome of the Tribunal,” Mr Chanda said.
Mr Chanda said the tribunal has been tasked with eight terms of references which included the probing of the alleged acts of impropriety by Mr Nchito as the DPP as alleged by the members of the public.
He said President Lungu had also tasked the tribunal to recomend whether Mr Nchito ought to be removed from the office of the DPP as a result of the allegations.
He said the Head of State had since notified the Chief Justice Irene Mambilima of his decision.
President Lungu yesterday left for South Africa for specialised treatment for his Achalasia (a condition of the narrowing of the food pipe) and has appointed Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula to act as President during the period he would be away from home.
Meanwhile, the Head of State has with immediate effect terminated the contract of Felix Nkulukusa as Permanent Secretary, economic management and finance (EMF) for the Ministry of Finance and has replaced him with De Roland Simwinga who was until yesterday director of investment and debt management.
And the Head of State has appointed former Times of Zambia managing director Godffrey Malama as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting taking over from Chanda Kasolo who has since moved to Estern Province in the same capacity.
Copperbelt Patriotic Front (PF) chairman Sturdy Mwale has been appointed Lusaka Province permanent secretary.