Lusaka High Court judge Sunday Nkonde’s brother Joseph says Cosmas Musumali is a coward who just wants to harass a “defenseless person”.

On Wednesday, Dr Musumali petitioned Chief Justice Irene Mambilima to investigate and discipline judge Nkonde for allegedly swindling government.

Dr Musumali, who is an economist and Socialist Party leader, contended that judge Nkonde illegally withdrew K2.5 million from a frozen bank account in October, money belonging to the State.

Judge Nkonde is accused of having appointed himself lawyer to represent Tedworth Properties Incorporation and raised a controversial K2.5 million bill for unexplained legal services.

Without disclosing his client’s details, judge Nkonde, as a lawyer, obtained a court order allowing him to transfer K2.5 million from the Tedworth Properties account into another account belonging to a law firm associated to him.

But the State froze the said account following an appeal to the Supreme Court in the ownership case of Tedworth Properties.

After being appointed judge, justice Nkonde last October managed to take out the said amount, claiming it as legal fees.

The Supreme Court recently overturned the High Court’s decision over the ownership of Tedworth Properties and ordered State forfeiture of the property and its rental income.

Reacting to Dr Musumali’s petition in a letter yesterday, Joseph stated that he was offended by the latter’s “attempt to scandalise” his brother.

“Dr Musumali, I have had sight of your open letter which has been published online and other media. Sir, I respect your right to hold public office holders to account and indeed your right to free speech. I have however taken great offense at your attempt to scandalise my brother Sunday Nkonde. I am strongly offended as a member of the family I feel duty bound to stand up for our dignity,” Joseph wrote.

“Sir, your letter and its insinuations are a disgrace. At best as the letter’s author are (sic) naive and at worst you are a coward. You lack the moral fiber that my brother possesses. You have chosen to join a group of people who have little to no credibility in launching a campaign of vilification, harassment and intimidation against defenseless persons. You have chosen to issue an open letter in order to give maximum coverage to your insinuations rather than to seek or establish the truth. You have demeaned yourself.”

Joseph accused Dr Musumali of being paid to scandalise judge Nkonde.

“You have probably received 30 pieces of silver from your masters or achieved 30 minutes of fame; I hope it has been worth it and that your family are (sic) proud of you. By the way, this is not from Sunday. I have not even spoken to him about it (he is above petty politics). Yours sincerely, Joseph Nkonde,” wrote Joseph.