FORMER Post Newspapers Limited employee Francis Lungu has petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking a declaration that the January 10 consent order that declared the newspaper insolvent and wound up is valid.
According to a petition filed in court yesterday, Lungu cited Post shareholder Dr Fred M’membe, Attorney General, Post Newspapers (in liquidation), Abel Mboozi, Roy Habaalu, Andrew Chiwenda, Mwendalubi Mweene, Bonaventure Bwalya and the Zambia Revenue Authority, also seeks a declaration that the first respondent was not a party to the case in which the consent order was entered and therefore cannot challenge it.
Lungu, through his lawyers Freddie and Company of Kitwe, stated that Dr M’membe was not a party to a petition to wind up the company that Mboozi and others filed in court, but that he made several applications in the same matter, among them the application for judge Sunday Nkonde to recuse himself from handling the case for alleged bias.
He stated that before judge Nkonde could hear and determine the application for his recusal, Dr M’membe filed a complaint against him at the Judicial Complaints Commission for professional misconduct.
Lungu added that the JCC found judge Nkonde with a case to answer but that the judge challenged the matter before the High Court in Kitwe and later the parties entered in a consent quashing the ruling of the JCC.
“By way of a scheme to interfere with the performance of judicial functions of Mr Justice Sunday Nkonde SC and further delay the liquidation process of the 3rd respondent herein and consequently deny the petitioner and other creditors the right to recover their respective debts from the 3rd respondent, the 1st respondent commenced an action in the High Court to challenge the consent judgment under cause No. 2016/HPC/0518 to which the 1st respondent was never a party,” he submitted.
Lungu stated further that Dr M’membe was frustrating the judicial process.
“Further by way of a scheme to interfere with the performance of judicial functions of Mr Justice Sunday Nkonde SC and further frustrate the liquidation process of the 3rd respondent herein and consequently deny the petitioner and other creditors the right to recover their respective debts from the 3rd respondent at almost the same time commenced an action under cause No. 2018/CCZ/001 in the Constitutional Court to challenge the consent judgment under cause No. 2016/HPC/0518 and 2017/HK/771 to which in each case the 1st respondent was never a party,” he submitted.
Lungu stated that the action of Dr M’membe contravened and violated the constitutional provisions of Article 1(2) and (2) of the Constitution by exerting undue pressure, control and directions of the manner in which judge Nkonde was to exercise his judicial authority and by filing numerous court processes against the same parties as to affect the liquidation process of the Post from being concluded in terms of the final judgment.
And Lungu is seeking a declaration that the January 10 consent was and is valid as it was determined by the court of competent jurisdiction and that Dr M’membe under the circumstances could not challenge that consent judgment.
He is further seeking another declaration that Dr M’membe, who petitioned the Constitutional Court to nullify the consent of January 10, has no locus standi whatsoever to commence the matter under the cause because he was a not a party to it.
Lungu also wants the court to declare that the consent which the State and judge Nkonde entered into was legal and valid and cannot be challenged by a non-party. Lungu is also seeking costs of the proceedings and any other relief the court might deem fit.