THE tribunal tasked to probe Wynter Kabimba has closed

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THE tribunal tasked to probe Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba has closed its sittings, saying it has acquired enough evidence to render a report on the allegations.
The closure comes 37 days ahead of the planned 45 days the tribunal was asked to seat and collect data before submitting their findings and recommendations to President Sata.
Chairperson of the tribunal Evans Hamaundu said sufficient evidence has been gathered to make comprehensive findings on the complaint.
“We have considered at this moment that we have gathered sufficient material and also sufficient documents to make comprehensive findings of facts even on the constitutional aspect,” Justice Hamaundu said.
Justice Hamaundu said the hearing has information on what happened at the judiciary in relation to the complaint and that there is also material to enable it make a decision on whether there was pecuniary advantage accrued because of Mr Kabimba’s action.
“We have material as to what happened at the judiciary and also material to make a decision on the pecuniary aspect of the complaint. We do not need anybody else, we have closed sittings to prepare the report,” Justice Hamaundu said.
He said the report will only be available to the parties and the public after its findings are presented to President Sata and the Speaker of the National Assembly.
Justice Hamaundu said the tribunal has given the complainants up to Friday next week to provide it with further submissions on the matter.
The tribunal closed its sittings after hearing evidence from Patriotic Front (PF) Petauke Central 2011 elections losing candidate Leonard Banda.
Mr Banda told the tribunal that he became aware of a legal opinion (on candidates whose seats were nullified based on corruption) through party lawyers Ellis and Company.
He said he gave consent to the lawyers to use the legal opinion in contempt proceedings against MMD president Nevers Mumba as part of the supplementary bundle of documents.
Mr Banda said he did not derive any benefits from the contempt proceedings as it was a criminal matter.
He said Dr Mumba was convicted by the Supreme Court upon his own admission of making the contemptuous statement and not because of the legal opinion.
Mr Banda said the PF paid for all the legal actions commenced by party members and that as an individual, he did not make any payment.
Mr Kabimba is being investigated by the tribunal following a complaint by former Solwezi lawmaker Lucky Mulusa and political activist Brebnar Changala to the acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda.
The tribunal, led by Justice Hamaundu sitting with High Court judges Gertrude Chawatama and Justin Chashi, wants to establish whether Mr Kabimba abused the authority of his office when he transmitted government information to the PF through its lawyers Ellis and Company.
The tribunal also wants to establish whether Mr Banda, a litigant in an election petition, gained pecuniary advantage when he used the information and also whether Mr Kabimba interfered with the judiciary when he copied the legal opinion to the acting Chief Justice.

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