THE Lusaka High Court has stopped proceedings of the tribunal constituted to probe suspended Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito’s alleged professional misconduct pending outcome of the judicial review hearing.
High Court judge Mubanga Kondolo has also ordered that Mr Nchito commences judicial review and that the matter be conducted expeditiously.
Mr Justice Kondolo ruled yesterday that proceedings of the Annel Silungwe-led tribunal probing Mr Nchito be stayed until the judicial review hearing is concluded or until further orders are issued.
Mr Justice Kondolo has, however, not stayed the suspension of Mr Nchito.
This is according to an order granting leave to apply for judicial review signed by Mr Justice Kondolo.
On May 22, Mr Nchito applied for judicial review challenging the tribunal’s refusal to hold its proceedings in open court as well as recusal of two tribunal members Mathew Ngulube and Ernest Sakala.
He also wants the terms of reference of the tribunal to be quashed for allegedly being incompetent in law.
“It is directed that the decisions and proceedings of the tribunal be stayed until after the hearing of the summons for judicial review herein or until further order.
“It is further ordered that the applicant’s suspension is not stayed. It is hereby ordered that the inter parte hearing shall be heard on June 11, 2015 at 10:00 hours,” he said.
The judge also directed that the application for judicial review be made by the originating summons to him in chambers and that the hearing of the summons is expedited.
He said he made the orders upon reading the notice and affidavit of Mr Nchito sworn on May 22, 2015
Mr Justice Kondolo also said the orders were made upon hearing Mr Nchito’s lawyers for leave to apply for judicial review for an order of certiorari, in respect of the decision of the tribunal set up to probe the applicant made between March 16, 2015 and May 19, 2015.
Certiorari is an order issued by a superior court, directing an inferior court, tribunal, or other public authority to send the record of a proceeding for review.
On May 19, 2015, Mr Justice Silungwe dismissed all the three preliminary issues Mr Nchito had raised due to lack of merit.
He said there are no merits for justices Ngulube and Sakala to recuse themselves and that the terms of reference are competent in law.
Mr Justice Silungwe said Mr Nchito’s preliminary issues lack merit and the tribunal will proceed with its inquiry in secrecy.
This prompted Mr Nchito to apply for leave to start judicial review.