President Edgar Lungu has refused to suspend High Court judge Sunday Nkonde owing to a stay which the latter obtained from his Ndola counterpart.
Recently, the Judicial Service Commission (JCC) asked President Lungu to suspend judge Nkonde in order to pave way for investigations into how he handled the liquidation of The Post Newspaper.
A Judiciary official told News Diggers! that following the recommendation from the JCC, President Lungu was obliged, in accordance with the Constitution, to suspend judge Nkonde within 7 days.
But according to President Lungu’s reply to the JCC, which was obtained by Daily Nation Newspaper, judge Nkonde on Monday sued the State and obtained a stay against the JCC ruling by way of judicial review in the High Court.
“I note that the Judicial Complaints Commission has found Mr Justice Sunday Nkonde, SC with a prima facie case. I further note that Article 144(3) of the Constitution mandates the President to suspend the Judge found with a prima facie case. However, I have since been served with an order staying the decision of the Judicial Complaints Commission pending determination of the matter by the High Court. In the circumstances, I am unable to suspend Judge Sunday Nkonde until the order of stay is set aside or as the court may otherwise direct,” wrote President Lungu.
Judge Nkonde is seeking judicial review of the JCC’s recommendation for his suspension over a complaint lodged by ex-Post editor-in-chief Dr Fred M’membe.