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Mutembo applies to refresh application for stay of his dismissal

MUTEMBO Nchito has applied before the Constitutional Court to refresh his application for stay of President Edgar Lungu’s decision to relieve him of his duties as Director of Public Prosecutions before the full bench.

According to an affidavit in support of an application for interim relief filed in court, Mutembo stated that no prejudice would be suffered by the respondent if a stay is granted as there was a person Lillian Siyuni acting in the position of DPP.

He stated that on January 5, 2016, President Lungu assented to the Constitution amendment Act No 2 of 2016 and that he wrote to him on February 23, 2016 reminding him of the changes in the law which made it legally untenable for the Mutembo Nchito SC Tribunal to continue sitting.

He stated that he also requested the President to comply with the provisions of Article 144 if he was of the mind to continue pursing his possible removal.

Mutembo stated that he delivered the said letter to the President’s special assistant for legal who acknowledged receipt.

He stated that he never received a reply from the President but instead he was berated in the news media by President Lungu’s special assistant for press and public relations Amos Chanda, who announced that he’s letter was ignored.

Mutembo stated that President Lungu wrote to him relieving him of his duties allegedly acting pursuant to Article 144 of the Constitution and basing his decision on a report that had not been disclosed to him.

He stated that he was not aware of any proceedings before the Judicial Complaints Commission pursuant to Article 144 nor has he ever appeared or been summoned to appear before the JCC.

Mutembo stated further that Chanda announced that the President had appointed Siyuni as DPP pending ratification by Parliament.

And Mutembo stated that on August 16, 2016, Constitutional Court judge Enock Mulembe granted him an ex parts stay of the President’s decision which was returnable on August 19, 2016 but that after hearing of August 19, 2016, the judge rendered his ruling discharging the order for stay on August 29, 2016.

He stated that the judge discharged the order for stay on the basis that he would not suffer irreparable harm as he would be compensated with damages.

“The judge’s ruling did not fully consider the irreversible constitutional implications of discharging the order should the petitioner be successful in the main matter,” Mutembo said.

He is seeking to refresh his application for interim relief before the full bench, saying no prejudice would be suffered by the respondents if the court granted it.

In the main matter, Mutembo is challenging his removal from office on grounds that the process used was illegal.

In February 2015, police arrested Nchito for alleged abuse of office, prompting President Lungu to appoint a tribunal that later recommended his removal from office.

Among the charges, Nchito was accused of allegedly disrespecting judicial proceedings, taking over prosecutions of court cases in which he had vested interest, and that he planted illicit drugs on Civil rights activists Brebner Changala.

Changala has since filed a witness statement, explaining that the removal of Mutembo Nchito as DPP was orchestrated and executed by a consortium of lawyers having vested interests and who had full access to State power to do as they wished to achieve their goals.

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