JUDGE Sunday Nkonde cannot be trusted with the Post Newspapers liquidation case because he has so many things questioning his integrity, says Likando Mufalali.
Mufalali, the UPND national youth chairman, wondered why judge Nkonde was refusing to recuse himself from the Post liquidation matter.
“What is it that is tying him to the case? We cannot leave The Post liquidation case into the hands of Mr Sunday Nkonde. I think he is filthy, he has all these things that are surrounding him that are highly questionable to any independent mind and you cannot give such a person to handle a matter of such significance. The issue of The Post is a very sensitive matter,” Mufalali said.
He said it was very shameful and highly embarrassing to see judge Nkonde hanging on to The Post liquidation matter when the whole world knew his political interests in it.
“It’s quite embarrassing to learn and actually see that judge Nkonde has been involved in Tedworth scandal of collecting money that was forfeited to the State for whatever work he is claiming to have done and that is very unfortunate. It’s sad that we have, in the judiciary, corrupt elements like judge Nkonde who want to eat with both hands. When it comes to illegal things, he wants to participate and he wants to again be seen interpreting the law. That is not the right way to go,” Mufalali, the former Senanga member of parliament, said.
“He has been reported to the Judicial Complaints Commission; let the Commission act on the complaints raised by Post editor-in-chief Fred M’membe. We know that we have people there who are also compromised because of their political inclinations; we don’t need such individuals there. We cannot have a judge who has been involved in scandalous acts and wants to play a clean game, it shall not happen.”
He said he was saddened that the country’s judicial system had individuals with questionable characteristics.
“It’s quite unfortunate that some of these judges, when they were being ratified, I think if you look into the records that are there, I think there were question marks that might have been raised by either LAZ, other stakeholders and so many. And because we always want to incline ourselves to whatever has come from the President or whatever has come from our party, we want to say, ‘this is good for us’…we must be ratifying the correct people, people who will stand for the truth and not people who will stand for their pockets and line up their pockets for whatever they want to achieve,” Mufalali said.
He said judge Nkonde and his appointed Post liquidator Lewis Mosho were just after settling personal scores against M’membe.
“That is not the way to settle scores. We cannot use dirty hands, filthy, hands in The Post liquidation case. We will need to use hands that are fair and I have looked at some of the issues that have been raised by Dr M’membe to the Judicial Complaints Commission…judge Nkonde has an agenda and he must not use that office to settle scores or his agenda, together with the appointed so called liquidator Mr Mosho. It’s quiet unfortunate,” Mufalali added.
“What they are doing is tantamount to abuse of office and that should not be allowed. We cannot have such individuals who are so greedy, whose appetite is so high they want to get everything to themselves, even individual property, they want to get! That’s not the spirit of the law, that’s not the spirit of the nation, we want people to appear innocent unless proven guilty.”
Dr M’membe has taken judge Nkonde to the Judicial Complaints Commission for alleged gross misconduct in the Post liquidation matter.
He earlier wrote to the Chief Justice and judge-in-charge of the commercial court asking that judge Nkonde stops presiding over the matter between Post Newspapers Limited and Andrew Chiwenda and four others.
In his letter to the Judicial Complaints Commission (JCC) dated February 10, the celebrated journalist who owned Post Newspapers Limited stated that it was gross misconduct for judge Nkonde to sit to determine a matter involving a company he tried to destroy a mere five years ago.
He stated that in spite of not having been eligible to hear the Post matter, judge Nkonde had committed a number of grave due process and procedural aberrations in the current case before him, proving his animus and bad faith towards The Post.
“Justice Nkonde approved a provisional liquidation and appointed a provisional liquidator ex-parte in a matter where the petitioners did not provide the mandatory statutory debt demand notice, that is required by law before a winding up petition can be filed,” stated Dr M’membe among many grounds on which he is seeking the removal of judge Nkonde from the Post case.
“Judge Nkonde allowed Mr [Lewis] Mosho, the provisional liquidator to then appoint his firm, Messrs Lewis Nathan Advocates (himself) and Messrs Palan & George Advocates to replace Messrs Nchito & Nchito in representing Post Newspapers Limited in challenging the liquidation. How can lawyers appointed by the provisional liquidator represent a company in challenging the same provisional liquidator? Not surprisingly, the syndicate of Mr Mosho and his fronts have withdrawn the company’s challenge to the liquidation with the tacit approval of the judge…. The judge casting the proverbial nelsonian eye has allowed Mr Mosho to represent The Post in an action where Mr Mosho is being challenged by The Post. How is this conceivable at law? Judge Nkonde has to date not granted or heard any applications made by lawyers not affiliated to the provisional liquidator, Mr Mosho, and yet almost every application by the parties affiliated to Mr Mosho have been heard and in most cases granted orders ex-parte. Judge Nkonde, having been made aware that Mr Lewis Mosho is barred from appointment as a liquidator and therefore not a fit and proper person to be provisional liquidator because he was removed from the office of receiver in Platinum Gold Equity and Others V Development Bank of Zambia 2015/HPC/0097 has refused and or neglected to deal with the said disqualification.”
And Dr Cosmas Musumali, an economist, has written the Anti-Corruption Commission asking it to probe judge Nkonde’s conduct of obtaining K2.5 million from the account of Tedworth, which the Supreme Court has ruled was rightfully forfeited to the State./SM/JC