THE Constitutional Court has ordered PF cadre Chanoda Ngwira to appear before it on November 8 to show cause why he should not be jailed over two letters he wrote to Supreme Court justices threatening them with criminal action for giving witness statements in the Mutembo Nchito petition.
Mutembo, a former Director of Public Prosecution, will move the court in a motion for an order of committal pursuant to orders 52/1 (1) and 52/4 (1) of the rules of the Supreme Court.
In his affidavit filed in court, Mutembo has contended that Ngwira’s conduct of writing justices Mumba Malila and Albert Wood on October 29 demanding that they step down and if not, threatening them with criminal action for giving witness statements in a matter the court ordered him to furnish witness statements and copying the letter to the judges presiding over the cause, was calculated to prejudice the due course of justice in the matter.
He stated that Ngwira had gone so far to publish acknowledgment of receipt of his letters from the chambers of ConCourt judges and others.
Mutembo added that Ngwira’s threats were replayed in the ZNBC news at 19:00 hours on October 29, including an interview in which he repeated the threats.
“If the blatant disrespect for the processes of this court by the alleged contemnor goes without sanction, it threatens to diminish the dignity of this court,” said Mutembo.
Mutembo is in the petition challenging his removal as Director of Public Prosecutions.
Ngwira on October 26 wrote to justices Mumba Malila and Albert Wood and gave them five days to voluntarily step down for accepting to be witnesses on behalf of Mutembo in a case he is challenging his removal as Director of Public Prosecutions in the Constitutional Court.
According to separate letters addressed to justices Malila and Wood dated October 26 and copied to the President, Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, all Constitutional Court judges, Judicial Service Commission, Judicial Complaints Commission, DPP, Anti-Corruption Commission director general and Drug Enforcement Commission commissioner, Ngwira asked the two justices to step down in order to allow investigations into their conduct like other judges have done in the past.
Judges Malila and Wood have given witness statements in the matter before the Constitutional Court. 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.
He also 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 he, as Attorney General then, directed Mutembo to enter the 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.
And judge Wood confirmed he was summoned to give evidence by the tribunal and confirmed his testimony, which was included in the Nchito bundle of documents. Arising from these witness statements, Ngwira wrote two letters threatening the judges with criminal proceedings if they fail to step down as Judges in five days.