High Court judge Edward Musona says the incident which occurred on Monday where he failed to view the video evidence depicting violence in Munali is not only an embarrassment to the court but to the entire Judiciary.
However, Judge Musona finally viewed the video yesterday but reserved his ruling for Thursday, March 22.
This is a case in which Higher Education Minister Professor NKandu Luo appealed the High Court’s decision to nullify her seat to the ConCourt.
But proceedings in her appeal could not progress because the video evidence which led to the nullification went missing from the files.
After counter arguments, the ConCourt ordered that Judge Musona views a newly submitted video to certain whether it was unaltered.
But when the matter came up for viewing of the video, Monday, the video was not before court and neither were Prof Luo and Attorney General Likando Kalaluka.
When the matter came up yesterday, senior High Court assistant registrar Neto Zulu explained that the video could not be viewed on Monday due to communication breakdown between the Master of the Constitutional Court and himself.
Zulu explained that the flash drive was given to him by the Master of the ConCourt last month for safe custody because her Chamber had no safe.
He told the court that he was not aware that the flash drive containing the video evidence needed to be produced for viewing before the court on Monday.
But judge Musona said the communication breakdown was a serious administrative problem.
“I have heard what Mr Neto Zulu has said. I can see that there is communication break down and this is a serious administrative problem. I say so because even when the Concourt ordered that I review the video, which order was made on 26th February, 2018, the officers from that court did not avail on me the necessary documents. From 26th February, 2018, I only received the copy of the Constitutional Court judgement on 14th March, 2018. So it took more than two weeks for that judgement containing the order to reach me. Still the first record was not availed to me until I requested for the first record to enable me to set a date of hearing. I blamed all of it on our administrative staff,” he said.
Judge Musona said it was an embarrassment on the Judiciary that the court failed to view the video evidence on Monday.
“What happened yesterday where we failed to view the video because it was not availed, was an embarrassment. It was an embarrassment not only to this court but to the entire judiciary. That is why I yesterday, ordered the chief registrar on the judiciary who is also director for court operations to investigate the matter. I will not go further than this. Suffice to state that this issue is an administrative matter and shall accordingly be dealt with administratively,” said judge Musona.
After viewing the video, judge Musona said the ruling would be delivered on Thursday, March 22, 2018.