POST Newspapers proprietor Fred M’membe has asked the Supreme Court for time to enable him make an application to stay the commencement of trial in the Lusaka Magistrates Court in the matter in which former president Rupiah Banda has sued him and his company for defamation.
Last week, Mr M’membe appealed to the Supreme Court against the decision of the High Court not to allow the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to prosecute him.
Suspended Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito has already made an application to stay the magistrate court proceedings pending the outcome of his appeal in the Supreme Court.
Mr M’membe, through his lawyer Nchima Nchito, also told the court that he was yet to get instruction from the Director of Public Prosecutions on how to proceed with the matter.
This was when the matter came up before Supreme Court Judge Roydah Kaoma yesterday.
Mr M’membe asked for an adjournment of the case and Judge Kaoma set this Friday for hearing.
Last week, Mr M’membe appealed against the decision of the High Court stopping Mr Mutembo Nchito from taking over contempt court proceedings.
In his application, Mr M’membe and the Post submitted that High Court Judge Chalwe Mchenga erred in law and fact by holding that they could not be prosecuted by the National Prosecution Authority and ordering that they could only be prosecuted by private citizens which deny them the right to due process which every citizen was entitled.
Mr M’membe submitted that Judge Mchenga erred in law and fact when he made findings against them on basis of article 18 of the Constitution without considering the rights of the accused to have a fair trial.
“The learned trial judge erred in law and fact in determining the matter before him without affording the first appellant and second appellant an opportunity to be heard,” he said.
He said Mr Justice Mchenga erred in law and fact when he ruled that Mr Banda had a right to a fair trial when he was not a party to the proceedings therein. Recently, Judge Mchenga ruled that Mr Nchito as DPP could not take over the prosecution of the matter in which Mr Banda was suing Mr M’membe and the Post because he was a business partner of Mr M’membe, and Mr Banda will not be afforded a fair trial.