Renowned Lusaka Lawyer Lewis Mosho’s associates have threatened to call for an inquiry to probe Chief Justice Irene Mambilima for misconduct after she allegedly asked Judge Sunday Nkonde to recuse himself from handling the liquidation case of The Post newspaper.
And judge Nkonde has declared The Post Newspaper insolvent after five ex-Post employees entered a consent judgement with Mosho’s associates to that effect.
In a letter to justice Mambilima dated January 4, 2018, signed by Mosha and Company, the law firm stated that her conduct was foreign, strange and unheard of.
“It came to light and our clients’ attention that your ladyship and the said Dr Fred M’membe were communicating on this subject and as such the Mast Newspaper, believed to be under the control of the said complainant reported as follows: ‘CJ tells Nkonde to stop handling Post liquidation’. Your ladyship, at page 7 of The Mast Newspaper, you are quoted to have written that, ‘it is competent for a judge with conduct of a case, to recuse herself or himself from adjudication on a matter, under section 6 and 7 of the Judicial Code of Conduct. Upon such recusal, a case is transferred from the judge to another…’. Further that, ‘she reminded Dr M’membe that his complaint to the JCC raised ethical issues’. Following the issues of the publication in the Mast Newspaper, it has since come to our attention client’s attention that you have still proceeded to request the judge to recuse himself and hand over the files hence the delay in concluding this matter, notwithstanding that the matter of recusal was dealt with by the judge and there is no appeal. Further that the issue of the complaint was dealt with by the High Court in Kitwe and stands concluded,” read the letter.
“Our clients are of the view that, if indeed this is what is going on, this approach is foreign, strange and unheard of and in breach of the provisions of the constitution as amended under Article 122 of Act No. 2 of 2016.”
The law firm gave her 24 hours in which to respond or their clients would request an inquiry into her decision to ask judge Nkonde to recuse himself.
“Given the above issues, our clients instruct that we request from you as we now do, a response on the issues raised. That is to say, whether you requested the judge to recuse himself by so directing and if indeed you did, we are instructed to proceed and request that an inquiry be commenced as regards the approach you have taken vis a vis your office,” read the letter.
“Kindly note that the said response should be availed to us within 24 hours from the time of receipt of this letter. We await your usual prompt response.”
And judge Nkonde today declared The Post Newspaper insolvent.
In the consent judgement, Andrew Chiwenda, Roy Habalu, Bonaventure Mutale, Mwendalibi Mweene, Abel Mboozi, Zambia Revenue Authority and lawyers from Robson Malipenga and Company, who were representing the interests of Post Newspapers Limited (In Liquidation), agreed that The Post was unable to service its debts, therefore declaring it insolvent.
“That the Respondent having its liabilities far much exceeding that value of its assets and having been unable to pay its debts as they fall due with no reasonable prospects of being rescued or rehabilitated whatsoever and howsoever BE and is HEREBY declared insolvent and wound up,” read the consent judgement.
Mosho was also confirmed as liquidator.
“That the Provisional Liquidator Lewis Chisanga Mosho of Lusaka Be and is Hereby confirmed as the Liquidator of the Respondent and shall exercise all the functions and powers of the liquidator including dissolution of the Respondent pursuant to the Companies Act Chapter 388 of the Laws of Zambia,” read the judgement.