THE Attorney General has asked the Lusaka High Court to set aside an ex parte order granting judge Sunday Nkonde leave to commence judicial review proceedings to challenge his removal as High Court judge because it was before the wrong court.
In this case, judge Nkonde is challenging the decision of the Judicial Complaints Commission made on November 14, 2018 in which they wrote to President Edgar Lungu indicating that they have found him with a case to answer.
This was the second time the JCC wrote President Lungu indicating that the judge was found with a case to answer but it was stopped through the stay.
The first time judge Nkonde was found with a prima facie case, the matter that was in the High Court at Kitwe was settled through a consent he entered with the Attorney General.
This followed a complaint against judge Nkonde by Dr Fred M’membe that he failed in his duties in the manner in which he handled The Post Newspapers Limited liquidation case.
It was law that President Lungu was duty bound to suspend judge Nkonde but he challenged the decision of the JCC in the High Court and was granted an ex parte order to commence judicial review proceedings, which acted as a stay of the decisions.
Lusaka High Court judge-in-charge Gertrude Chawatama granted the stay on November 21, 2018, and ordered that the leave shall operate as a stay of the decision of the Judicial Complaints Commission committee of November 14, 2018 and that costs of the application shall be in the cause.
But according to an affidavit in support of summons for an order to set aside ex parte order for leave to apply for judicial review, Chibesa Mulonda, who is a senior State advocate in the Attorney General’s chambers, stated that the court record would show that judge Nkonde was challenging the process of his removal as judge of the High Court.
“The procedure relating to the removal of a judge is governed by the Constitution of Zambia. I verily believe that the applicant’s application seeks an interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution in so far as they relate to the removal of a judge. Therefore, it is before the wrong court,” stated Mulonda.