Suspended Director of Public Prosecution Mutembo Nchito has lost a renewed application for an appeal for judicial review in the Supreme Court to stop the Annel Silungwe tribunal from probing him.
Mr Nchito lost an application for an appeal for judicial review in the High Court over the decision by the Annel Silungwe tribunal to continue probing him even after the amendment of the Constitution.
Supreme Court Judge Evans Hamaundu dismissed the application because he had no jurisdiction as a single judge due to issues Mr Nchito brought out in the application which required to be dealt with by the full bench of the court on appeal.
Justice Mr Hamaundu said the issues brought out in the application before him involved the decision that the full bench of the Supreme Court would be required to make in the appeal.
He dismissed the application which was made ex-parte and also ordered no costs.
At the High Court, Judge Petronella Ngulube heard both Mr Nchito and the Attorney General. Mr Nchito who had applied for judicial review to stop the Annel Silungwe because it allegedly became defunct after President Lungu assented to the new Constitution.
At the end of the hearing, Judge Ngulube refused to grant leave for Mr Nchito to apply for judicial review. Nchito then filed a notice of appeal before the Supreme Court and proceeded to file as an interlocutory application, a notice of renewal of the application for leave to apply for judicial review.
Justice Petronella Ngulube ruled that according to Section 16 of the amended Constitution of Zambia Act Number 1 of 2016, all matters commenced under the old law were to proceed and be decided upon as such. Justice Ngulube expressed disapproval with what she described as forum shopping when Mr Nchito indicated that the Constitutional Court was the only court which could determine and over rule a Supreme Court ruling.
She said this showed disrespect in seeking leave to commence judicial review proceedings before the High Court.
“I have difficulties in appreciating why the applicant sought judicial review from this court on a matter which he clearly contends must be determined by the Constitutional Court.
“I find that this indeed is an act of forum shopping by Mr Nchito, SC which the court frowns upon,” she said.