UPP leader Saviour Chishimba says Chief Justice Irene Mambilima has got no power to refuse to set up a tribunal to probe Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya for her involvement in the Maize Gate Scandal.

In a statement today, Chishimba indicated that he had submitted another letter to Chief Justice Mambilima to insist on a tribunal.

“The Chief Justice has no power to refuse the granting of our prayer to probe Hon Dora Siliya over the K345 million maizegate scandal. We, in the United Progressive People (UPP), have submitted another letter today to the Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Mrs Irene Mambilima to request for setting up of a tribunal to probe Hon. Dora Siliya without procrastination,” Chishimba stated.

He made reference to a judicial precedence where an Acting Chief Justice was compelled to set up a tribunal after previously refusing to do so.

“Our latest submission makes reference to the judicial precedent in the case of Attorney General vs William Harrington, SCJ/8/337/2013. In this case, the Acting Chief Justice had refused to appoint a tribunal to probe Hon Sylvia Masebo, the then Minister of Tourism. The refusal was based on the view of the Acting Chief Justice that a prima facie case had not been established by the complainant. The High Court declared that the refusal by the Acting Chief Justice was ultra vires, illegal and a nullity. Immediately after this ruling, the Acting Chief Justice proceeded to appoint a tribunal. Nonetheless, the Attorney General went ahead to appeal the ruling of the lower court. The appeal was not successful,” Chishimba stated.

“The Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the lower court that it was illegal for the Chief Justice to try and seek the establishment of a prima facie case. The Supreme Court further ruled that the lower court should have also quashed the decision of the Acting Chief Justice apart from merely declaring her refusal to be illegal. In this landmark ruling, the learned judges of the Supreme Court further held that elected officials are accountable to the electorate and this is what the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act, Cap 16 of the Laws of Zambia seeks to achieve.”

He called on all Zambians to join the fight against corruption.

“Fellow compatriots, the fight against corruption is everyone’s business and we seize this opportunity to appeal to all Zambians, irrespective of the political divide, to arise from the four winds of our nation and join the #BringBackOurMoney! anti corruption crusade. Corruption and bad leadership have plagued our nation and we cannot afford to let this continue. We must stop the rot! The cost of living is rising because of daylight embezzlement by our leaders,” stated Chishimba.

“UPP has continued to receive numerous cases of corruption, with evidence, and we promise to deal with each case surgically, within the provisions of the law. We are resolute and shall not be intimidated by anybody. Apart from God, we have no fear for mere mortals whose breathes God can cut short at anytime.”