Nchito tribunal adjourned again


THE tribunal investigating suspended Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito has been adjourned to Tuesday next week.

Tribunal secretary Mathew Zulu  confirmed that the tribunal had for the second time been adjourned but could not give reasons.

“This is something beyond our control…and it will not affect the ruling which was supposed to have been delivered tomorrow (today),” Mr Zulu said.

When the tribunal adjourned about three weeks ago, Mr. Nchito had raised a number of preliminary issues including the constitutionality of the charges he was facing, recusal of judges whom he perceived to be biased and for the tribunal to be held in public and not in camera.

He described  the Judge Silungwe Tribunal  as  incompetent and a product of malice and vendetta against him by President Edgar Lungu.

Mr Nchito also accused President Lungu of having failed to come up with the terms of references and only lifted the complaints of civil rights activist Brebner Changala who had petitioned the Head of State to constitute a tribunal against the embattled DPP.

The suspended DPP accused President Lungu of maliciously suspending him and framing up uninvestigated charges and complained that his suspension had violated his rights to a full income.

“What procedure did the President follow in amending the terms of references?

The simple reason for amending the terms of references after the tribunal had been sworn in is that there is malice.

To amend terms of references when the tribunal is sitting raises fundamental questions and it would appear that the outcome of this tribunal has been predetermined,” Mr Nchito said

The tribunal commenced its sittings on 1st April, 2014.

The ruling by the tribunal on Tuesday next week would determine whether the inquiry would proceed or not.

The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has warned that if the State was not going to be serious with the manner it was going to handle the tribunal, there was a danger that it would end up the way the discredited Judge Lovemore Chikopa tribunal did.

FODEP executive director MacDonald Chipenzi said it was the expectations of Zambians that the Nchito tribunal was not going to be another fishing expedition that would only gobble public resources without any logical conclusion.

Mr Chipenzi told the Daily Nation that the tribunal had failed to formally take off because of the preliminary issues Mr Nchito had raised.

“We would like to see a speedy conclusion of the tribunal. There must be a specific timeframe and it should therefore not go on in perpetuity.

The charges against Mr Nchito must be clear and if it is going to fail, it will discredit the character of the distinguished former Chief Justices.

Let them do what is expected because it has already been one and a half months and we have not seen any progress,” Mr Chipenzi said

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