Zambia court halts probe into judges

2012-05-18 07:56
Lusaka - Zambia's High Court on Thursday suspended a special tribunal set up by the president to probe three judges he claims acted unprofessionally in the case involving a $2.7m loan to a local airline.

The high court's ruling, which also sets aside the president's decision to suspend the three judges, drew an immediate rebuke from the justice minister who said the government would appeal.

On Tuesday Zambian President Michael Sata hired a judge from neighbouring Malawi to head a probe over alleged misconduct of three local high court judges in a ruling on a loan from a government bank to the defunct Zambia Airways.

Two of the judges appealed to the country's High Court, arguing the tribunal was illegal.

On Thursday the High Court blocked the tribunal from starting work until it issues a ruling on the case, expected on 30 May.

Judge Flugence Chisanga ordered "a stay of the decision of the president of Zambia to appoint a tribunal [and] to suspend the applicants."

Justice Minister Sebastian Zulu warned that the decision prevented the government from holding judges accountable.

"This is the first time since independence that the judiciary has acted in such a manner," Zulu told reporters.

"This growing trend where we are having a dictatorship of the judiciary is a recipe for anarchy, and if not nipped in the bud may lead to serious problems in this country," he said.

He said the public has long complained about corruption and incompetence in the judiciary.

The three judges are accused of violating court rules and allowing politics to influence their rulings in the matter of Zambia Airways, which was owned by the country's prosecutions chief Mutembo Nchito and Post newspaper owner Fred M'membe and went bankrupt in 2009.

The three judges all played a role in the loan case, during which it was ruled that the airline's owners must repay the government loan. The owners have refused to do so.

Since winning elections last year, Zambia's president launched a broad crackdown on corruption, which his predecessor Rupiah Banda's allies say unfairly targets the previous government.

Read more on:    michael sata  |  rupiah banda  |  zambia  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Dewani Trial
 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.