FORMER justice minister Sebastian Zulu has filed a witness statement in the Constitutional Court stating that he was taken aback that former chief justice Ernest Sakala accepted to sit on the tribunal that recommended Mutembo Nchito’s removal as Director of Public Prosecutions.
According to his statement filed yesterday, Zulu, State Counsel, stated that he was summoned by the investigative tribunal and he appeared to testify in compliance with the summons.
He confirmed his testimony which was shown to him and appears in the bundle of documents Mutembo filed in relation to a complaint against several judges, including justice Sakala, over their conduct in the case of Development Bank of Zambia vs JCN Holdings Limited, The Post Newspapers Limited, and Mutembo Nchito.
He stated that he was justice minister when the complaint was brought to his attention.
“The petitioner and other defendants in the matter complained against Mr Justice Ernest Sakala, among other judges, in a letter dated 26th March, 2012,” Zulu said.
“I corresponded and dealt with Mr Justice Sakala on the complaint levelled against him and other judges.”
Zulu said he was taken aback that justice Sakala accepted to sit on the tribunal that investigated Mutembo.
“Due to my dealings with Mr Justice Sakala in this matter, I was taken aback that he could accept to sit on a tribunal in which the issues I deposed to herein were central and in circumstances where there had been a complaint levelled against him by the petitioner herein in relation to the case of Development Bank of Zambia Vs JCN Holdings Limited, The Post Newspapers Limited, and Mutembo Nchito which matter was part of the Mutembo Nchito S.C investigative tribunal which justice Sakala sat on,” said Zulu.
Two Supreme Court justices Mumba Malila and Albert Wood have also filed their witness statements.
Justice Malila stated that although one of the terms of reference for the tribunal that investigated Mutembo and recommended his removal as DPP included an allegation that he entered a nolle prosequi in the case of The People vs Dr Rajan L. Mahtani, no one consulted him before the tribunal was constituted.
And justice Malila stated that he was surprised that Mutembo was arrested in 2012 as a result of a nolle prosequi which he entered in Dr Mahtani’s case when it was him as Attorney General who directed him to do so.
Justice Malila stated that it was him, as then Attorney General, who directed Mutembo to enter nolle prosequi in the case of Dr Mahtani in which he was jointly charged with lawyer John Sangwa, State Counsel, after he sought guidance on how to proceed.
Justice Wood also confirmed he was summoned to give evidence by the tribunal and confirmed his testimony which was included in the latter’s bundle of documents.
The matter comes up for hearing on November 18.