Contempt accused collapses in Supreme Court

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A 65 year-old Lusaka man facing contempt of court charges was today rushed to State House Clinic after his BP shot up and he collapsed in a witness box before five Supreme Court judges.

And the court also adjourned judgment in a matter where Rainbow Newspaper editor-in-chief Derrick Sinjela is facing contempt of court charges, to December 20, 2018.

Daniel Mwale, 65, is charged with contempt of court owing to his contemptuous remarks in some letters addressed to Court of Appeal- Judge Florence Lenga-Lenga and Deputy Chief Justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa.

Mwale disputed the court’s judgment in the Daniel Mwale and Njolomole Mtonga case and wrote the letters after he lost the appeal.

In a letter addressed to judge Lengalenga, Mwale stated that; “I have a Constitutional right to protect my hard earned property from the ever growing army of unscrupulous and corrupt elements in the civil service who are actively working in league with ‘some Judges’ to make our country ungovernable…”

He had further stated in the letter addressed to justice Mwanamwambwa, that; “If the Supreme Court bench headed by the deputy Chief Justice can churn out this kind of questionable judgement to support the deeply infiltrated and corrupt civil service, then, as my good friend observed, we are doomed as a nation…” he stated, among other issues.

Mwale was initially facing two counts of contempt of court but the court said it would confine itself to count two because it involved the Supreme Court bench.

After the charges were read out, on Wednesday morning, Mwale’s lawyer Chola Musonda informed the court, comprising of Deputy Chief Justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa, justices Evans Hamaundu, Mumba Malila, Roydah Kaoma and Nigel Mutuna that his client wished to purge the contempt and had a statement to make.

Justice Mwanamwamba, however, asked Musonda whether he had sat down with his client to examine the statement.

He informed the lawyer that he was Mwale’s third counsel because he was in a habit of insulting his lawyers.

“You are the third lawyer, you don’t know? Your client insulted his own lawyer in the High court. You are the third one. He insults his lawyers,” said justice Mwanamwamba.

And when Mwale was called to the witness box, he informed the court that although he was present, he was not well.

“I would like to tell the court that although I’m here today, I was given sick leave, I’m supposed to be in bed. What has been happening from 1991 to date has a toll on my health. I have high blood pressure,” he said.

Mwale proceeded to purge the contempt saying he had high regard for the judiciary.

“I’m here today because I have high regard for this court. This is my statement withdrawing the contemptuous statement and an apology. I’m a senior citizen. I’m convinced beyond doubt that no amount of attack can take away the upright conduct of this court. The judiciary is the protector of citizens rights and as such it deserves the confidence and respect of the public,” he said.

He however, attempted to give evidence on the appeal which he had lost but was stopped by the court.

The judges wondered whether he was purging or renewing his appeal.

Justice Mwanamwamba added that they didn’t want to embark upon hearing irrelevancies.

He asked his lawyer to read loudly, the contents of the insulting letter which Mwale wrote but as Musonda was reading, Mwale fell to the floor and blacked out for a little while, prompting the judges to rise.

He was assisted by some court officials and an officer and taken outside.

Mwale was later rushed to State House Clinic.

When court resumed after 10 minutes, justice Mwanamwambwa told Mwale’s lawyer, Musonda, that if his client was sick he should have informed the judges, adding that they were also human.

“If your client was so sick, you could have come to see us in the chambers and register your client. He has come here only to have his blood pressure shoot up. Had you come to inform us, we wouldn’t have proceeded, we are human beings,” he said.

The matter has been adjourned to January 31, 2019.

Meanwhile, the court adjourned judgment in the matter in which Rainbow Newspaper editor-in-chief Derrick Sinjela is facing contempt of court charges, to December 20, 2018.

The court informed Sinjela that his judgement was ready but could not be delivered because other judges who had heard his matter were not around to approve it.

         

Zondiwe Mbewe

About Zondiwe Mbewe

Zondiwe has interest in writing political and current affairs on issues which affect every Zambians. She draws inspiration from journalists who stand for what is right and are not afraid to tell and show the truth to the people.

Email: zondiwe [at] diggers [dot] news

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