Nevers Mumba apologises to the Supreme Court

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MMD president Nevers Mumba has apologised to the Supreme Court for attacking the Judiciary and the Supreme Court of Zambia following its nullification of the election of Dora Siliya as Petauke Central member of Parliament (MP).
Dr Mumba rendered his apology in the Supreme Court recently, saying he withdraws the statement he issued on Radio Phoenix on July 2, 2013 if it amounts to contempt.
He is accused of having made ‘scandalous’ attacks on the Supreme Court and its judgement nullifying the election of Ms Siliya as MP for Petauke Central.
Ms Siliya’s election was nullified on account of “massive corruption” and other electoral illegalities.
Dr Mumba told Radio Phoenix that the Patriotic Front (PF) administration was allegedly using the Supreme Court and acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda to deplete the numbers of seats for opposition political parties in Parliament.
In a statement filed in the Supreme Court on October 22, Dr Mumba said: “Should the statements in their ordinary cause insinuate or indeed amount to contempt, I unreservedly apologise and do withdraw to the extent of the contempt.”
This came to light yesterday when the matter came up for trial before a panel of Supreme Court judges comprising acting Deputy Chief Justice Florence Mumba, Justices Marvin Mwanamwambwa, Hilda Chibomba, Gregory Phiri and Munyinda Wanki.
Dr Mumba said his statement on Radio Phoenix was issued on behalf of the MMD as a party which was injured by the numerous nullifications.
He said the MMD was grieving in the face of the taunts from the ruling party which included a statement from Minister of Justice and PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba that the ruling party would engage the court in relation to Ms Siliya’s case.
Dr Mumba said following Mr Kabimba’s announcement, a press statement was issued purportedly for and on behalf of the Supreme Court affecting the MMD in relation to Ms Siliya.
Dr Mumba said the statement generated discussions that were in the public domain and became a matter of public debate.
He said the statements complained of by PF Petauke Central losing candidate in the 2011 general elections Leonard Banda were meant to be fair comments on matters of public interest.
“Necessary caution was taken in the issuance of the statement in that the same was posed as questions for public interest. Further, I used the word ‘may’ in most of my statement,” Dr Mumba said.
He said his statement was not conclusive of any fact in issue but speculative on a matter of public interest that was enjoying diverse comments from the citizens.
Dr Mumba said his statement was not in any way intended to ridicule or bring
the “much-revered” Supreme Court into disrepute but was a mere fair comment.
And the Supreme Court has wondered how the matter can proceed into full trial when Dr Mumba is creating an impression that he is apologising for his statement.
Speaking on behalf of other judges, Mr Justice Mwanamwambwa said Dr Mumba’s lawyers Irene Kunda and Donald Kasote should provide guidance whether to proceed into full trial or not when the matter comes up on November 13.
Mrs Kunda was not in court for the matter to proceed as she was reported to be unwell and she sent Mr Kasote to stand in for her and adjourn the case.

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