Former Chief Justices Mathews Ngulube and Ernest Sakala have been cleared to sit on the tribunal investigating allegations of impropriety and professional misconduct against suspended Director Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito.
The tribunal has also ruled that its proceeding will from now on be heard in-Camera.
This follows the dismissal of the three preliminary issues which Mr. Nchito had earlier raised.
In delivering ruling this morning, tribunal Chairperson Annel Silungwe held that the first preliminary issue Mr. Nchito raised requesting that tribunal members Justices Ngulube and Sakala recuse themselves did not have merit because there is no danger of biasness on their part against Mr. Nchito.
Justice Silungwe who was franked by Justices Ngulube and Sakala explained that this is because Mr. Nchito has not wronged the two Justices in any way that would amount to hatred, animosity or dislike of him.
He has also ruled that for the fact that its proceedings are investigative in nature, it is not the duty of the tribunal to determine whether the allegations before it are competent or not.
The tribunal Chairperson further noted that by virtue of being the appointing authority, the Zambian constitution does allow President Edgar Lungu to make fresh allegations for the tribunal’s consideration.
Justice Silungwe stated that this means that the suggestion by Mr. Nchito in his second preliminary issue that a new Tribunal will have to be appointed if President Lungu wants to make fresh allegations, cannot stand because doing so would amount to multiplicity of proceedings or tribunals.
In dismissing the third preliminary issue which Mr. Nchito raised, Justice Silungwe ruled that for the sake of protecting the integrity of the constitutional office of office of the DPP, the integrity of Mr. Nchito as a lawyer and the integrity of the tribunal itself, the tribunal has found fit to hold its proceedings in-camera.
He says this is especially that from the time the tribunal commenced its sittings it has been subjected to ridicule by the manner some media houses that have been reporting about its sittings and members of tribunal.
Justice Silungwe stated that the tribunal has also taken note that a parallel tribunal has been set in some media houses.
The tribunal had since been adjourned to 14:30hrs today Tuesday, May 19.