FORMER Chief Justice Annel Silungwe has never been to State House to seek his retirment benefits as has been alleged by Chilufya Tayali who is supporting and defending suspended Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito, State House has said.
Presidential press aide Amos Chanda has revealed that the information Mr Tayali was referring to emanated from a leter by Justice Silungwe to late president Levy Mwanawasa which letter was later resubmitted to late president Michael Sata.
Mr Chanda said State House was doubtful that Justice Silungwe could have had a meeting with Mr Tayali to confide in him that he was seeking retirement benefits from President Edgar Lungu.
Mr Chanda said President Lungu had made decisions on some of the appeals while he had referred others to Secretary to Cabinet.
He said while Mr Tayali had the freedom to rise to the defence of those who had been arraigned before the country’s judicial system, it was injudicious for him to attack, malign and slander the judiciary from which he was seeking justice over his rape case.
“President Lungu has received several appeals from former Goverment officers who served in the civil service. He has recieved more than 10 appeals from former Inspector Generals of Police and many from the defence forces and even many judiciary personnel have made appeals to the President over similar matters. The letter Mr Tayali was referring to was written to late president Levy Mwanawasa and was resubmitted to late president Michael Sata. President Lungu found that letter when he assumed office and has only inherited the appeal. It is not correct to insinuate that Justice Silungwe has been to the President seeking for his retirement,” Mr Chanda said.
Mr Chanda stated that former Chief Justices Silungwe, Ngulube and Sakala were about the senior most legal brains Zambia had and Mr Tayali should have been the last person to question their integrity.
He explained that the only role President Lungu played in the tribunal was to constitute it and that he had no hand in its proceedings and that it was imprudent for Mr Tayali to demonise its members whose duty was to inquire into the professional miscoduct of Mr Nchito.
Mr Chanda rubbished allegations by Mr Tayali that former Justice Silungwe had been appointed to lead the tribunal investigating the professional misconduct of suspended Mr Nchito so that President Lungu could consider awarding him his retirement benefits.
Mr Chanda said to undermine the tribunal and the judicial system of the country was defeating the same cause Mr Tayali was purporting to advance and advised that the Zambian Voice executive director avoids attacking President Lungu because the Head of State was not involved in the proceedings of the tribunal.
He stated that President Lungu had the composite wisdom of presiding over the affairs of the country and that he was aware that Mr Tayali was facing a serious felony for which the Magistrate’s Court had put him on his defence.
Mr Chanda told the Daily Nation in an interview that it was incorrect for Mr Tayali to insinuate that Justice Silungwe was appointed to chair the tribunal investigating Mr Nchito so that he could be favoured for his retirement benefits.
“Mr Tayali has been accused of having committed a heinous crime and we hope he is going to be cleared. His constituency as a civil rights actvisit has been damaged by these hideous allegations. Mr Nchito, the man he is profusely defending consented to his prosecution while he was in the office of DPP. So Mr Tayali is morally incorrect to assail and slander the members of the tribunal which is an opportunity for Mr Nchito to clear his name,” Mr Chanda said.