Deputy Chief Justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa has given CiSCA chairperson Bishop John Mambo and SANAC executive director Gregory Chifire a month to look for lawyers to represent them in a matter in which they have been slapped with contempt of court charges.
And the duo has pleaded not guilty to the charges of contempt relating to comments they made against the Judiciary over the Savenda judgement.
Meanwhile, Supreme Court judge Albert Wood says it is laughable that Chifire could accuse judge Evans Hamaundu of being in a meeting discussing the same case in Lusaka when he was with the latter at a World Bank meeting during the period in question.
In count one, Chifire is accused of causing to be published an article on the Zambian Watchdog headlined “Mambilima is the most corrupt judge”.
In count two, Chifire allegedly committed contempt of court when he wrote to Chief Justice Mambilima concerning the matter.
In count three, Chifire is accused of causing to be published another article on Zambian Watchdog, disparaging the judiciary, on June 15, 2018.
And in the fourth and final count, Chifire is accused of causing to be published an article in The Mast Newspaper an article headlined “Judiciary one of the most corrupt in Zambia” on July 2, 2018.
Meanwhile, Bishop Mambo allegedly committed contempt by writing a letter to Chief Justice Mambilima over the same matter in which he alleged that judges involved in the case seemed to be interested in achieving personal ambitions.
When the matter came up in the Supreme court before a full bench of nine judges, Tuesday, the duo pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Chifire, who was the first to take plea, said it was unfair that the court had proceeded to call witnesses when he had earlier mentioned that he had no legal representation.
He asked for time to hire a lawyer saying he was entitled to get one.
Asked by judge Mwanamwambwa why he had not done so when he was served with the summons, Chifire lamented that legal services were not cheap and therefore, he needed more time to look for money.
Meanwhile, Bishop Mambo echoed Chifire’s plea to be granted more time to hire a lawyer.
He said he had not hired a lawyer ealier because he did not know what he was coming to court for.
Judge Mwanamwamba then granted the duo a month to find lawyers.
However, Judge Wood and two other witnesses already gave their testimonies against the two accused persons.
Judge Wood said Chifire’s allegations were laughable because judge Hamaundu was in Chisamba during the time Chifire alleged he met the deputy Chief Justice to discuss the Savenda judgement.
Judge Hamaundu’s wife, Faides, also testified that her husband was in Chisamba during that period and he was not a witch that he could be in two places at once.
Meanwhile, Constitutional lawyer John Sangwa began to give his testimony in relation to the charges against Bishop Mambo but the latter protested, asking the court to give him a chance to find lawyers to represent him.
Look out for a verbatim report in tomorrow’s edition.