The Supreme Court has fined CiSCA chairperson Bishop John Mambo K25,000, in default serve nine months simple imprisonment, for contempt of court.
And the court says judges who are known or suspected to be receiving bribes should be reported to the authorities, adding that foreign investors cannot invest in a country that is perceived to have a corrupt Judiciary.
Last year, the Supreme Court also sentenced SANAC executive director Gregory Chifire, who is currently in exile, to six years imprisonment with hard labour and slapped Rainbow Newspaper editor-in-chief Derrick Sinjela with one year six months simple imprisonment on charges of contempt of court due to their remarks in Savenda Vs Stanbic Bank Case.
And in this matter, Bishop Mambo was also facing two counts of contempt of court.
He committed contempt by writing a letter to the Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima on May 12, 2018, over the Savenda Vs Stanbic matter.
“The legal suit against the bank by Savenda, though given a favorable decision at the lower court, was suspiciously overturned by the higher court on appeal…most judges seem to be more interested in achieving personal ambitions at the expense of justice for all and equality before the law…,” read Bishop Mambo’s letter in part.
When the matter came up for judgement this afternoon before five Supreme judges, judge Gregory Phiri who sat with judges Gregory Phiri, Evans Hamaundu, Royda Kaoma and Nigel Mutuna said Bishop Mambo’s allegations were unwise and outrageous because he wrote the letter to the Chief Justice without reading any of the judgements of the courts relating to the Savenda Vs Stanbic Bank case.
The court further charged that it was recklessness on the part of the man of God, adding that a reasonable man should reflect before writing such contemptuous allegations.
Meanwhile, judge Phiri said the court found it odd that when the High Court ruled in favour of Savenda, Bishop Mambo, Chifire and Sinjela never protested over the decision but sprung up and started issuing wild remarks when the ruling was reversed by the higher court.
“There’s something we find very odd about this case. When the High Court ruled in the favour of Savenda against Stanbic Bank, bishop Mambo, Gregory Chifire, Derrick Sinjela never protested over the decision. They were happy and silent. As soon as we and the court of appeal reversed that decision, they demanded that the verdict was reversed, they sprung up and issued wild allegations against the judiciary. They lectured the Supreme Court on how to write judgments. The conteminors and others insulted the Supreme Court over this matter [when] they were not parties,” he said.
The court added that the involvement of Bishop Mambo, Chifire and Sinjela in the matter was misguided and mischievous.
Judge Phiri said judges who were known or suspected to be receiving bribes should be reported to the authorities, adding that foreign investors could not invest in a country that was perceived to have a corrupt judiciary.
“Zambia needs foreign investment to sustain and improve it’s economy. Foreign investors would not invest in a country that is perceived to have a corrupt judiciary. Judges who are known or suspected to be receiving bribes should be reported for investigations, prosecutions and removal,” he said.
The court further said it took allegations of corruption very seriously that’s why they gave Chifire six years and Sinjela 18 months.
The court therefore fined Bishop Mambo K25,000 to be paid in seven days, in default serve nine months simple imprisonment.
Speaking after the judgement, Bishop Mambo said he was relieved that justice had prevailed.
“I’m relieved, I was expecting it. Justice has prevailed,” said Bishop Mambo.