THE tribunal constituted to probe suspended Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito will go ahead uninterrupted despite his appeal filed in the Supreme Court, the Annel Silungwe-led tribunal has said.
The tribunal has set April 1 as the date for receiving of preliminary applications in an open public session. Tribunal secretary Mathew Zulu said Mr Nchito has not filed any application to stop proceedings of the tribunal but the decision of Lusaka High Court Judge Mwila Chitabo which vacated the order he granted him to stay his suspension and establishment of tribunal was still in force.
Speaking in an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Zulu said Mr. Nchito’s appeal was not in any way acting as a stay of the tribunal sittings.
“The DPP has appealed against the ruling of Judge Chitabo but that is not acting as a stay of the proceedings of the tribunal. It does not stop the tribunal from proceeding,” he said. In the grounds of appeal filed in court, Mr Nchito said Judge Chitabo erred in law and fact when he discharged the ex parte leave for judicial review which he had granted him despite finding that the tribunal’s terms of reference touched on matters pending in the High Court and Supreme Court. Mr Nchito said Judge Chitabo also erred in law and fact when, after inviting him to be heard, the judge proceeded to discharge the ex parte order without affording him that opportunity.
In vacating the order, Judge Chitabo said the ex-parte order was vacated not because of the threats and intimidation but on the binding doctrine of stare decis (separation of powers).
He said it was common cause that President Edgar Lungu had invoked his powers under article 58 (2) (3) and article 44 (6) of the Constitution to set up a tribunal to investigate the alleged conduct or misconduct of Mr Nchito during subsistence of his office.