The Petitioners in President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility case have lodged a complaint against Constitutional Court president Hildah Chibomba for alleged gross misconduct and incompetence.
And the Petitioners want justice Chibomba to recuse herself from handling President Lungu’s eligibility case.
The four PF-aligned opposition political party leaders Dan Pule, Wright Musoma, Peter Chanda and Robert Mwanza of the Christian Democratic Party, Zambia Republican Party, New Congress Party and Citizen Democratic Party respectively, want the JCC to investigate justice Chibomba because it is unacceptable that she has the same lawyers with UPND.
“We have a petition before the Constitutional Court in which we are Applicants and the Attorney General is the 1st Respondent, Patriotic Front is the 2nd Respondent, the Law Association of Zambia is the 1st Interested Party and the General Godfrey Miyanda is the 3rd interested party. The judges on the panel are the following: 1. Madam justice Hildah Chibomba-court president, 2. Madam Justice M.Mulenga, 3. Madam Justice Sitali, 4. Madam Justice Munalula and Mr Justice Enock Mulemba. The law firms for all the parties are as follows: A) For the Applicants are a) Messrs Ellis and Company, b) Messrs Central Chambers, c) Messrs Robson Malipenga and Co, d) Messrs Mvunga and Associates, e) Messrs Mulonda and Company and f) Messrs Lungu Simwinga and Company,” read the complaint.
“B) For the 1st Respondent is the Attorney General’s Chambers, C) For the 2nd Respondent is Messrs Makebi Zulu and Company, D) For the 1st Interested Party is Messrs (LAZ) is the Messrs Simeza Sangwa and Associates, E) For the 2nd Interested Party (UPND) is Messrs Malambo and Company, F) For the 3rd Respondent (General Godfrey Miyanda) in person. It has come to our attention that Madam Hildah Chibomba the leading judge on our petition shares the same lawyers with the UPND who are the 2nd Interested Party called Messrs Malambo & Co.”
The Petitioners lamented that the fact that justice Chibomba had the same lawyers with UPND were meant to intimidate them.
“In a ruling dated 13th October, 2017 of the Judicial Complaints Commission under cause no. 2016/JCC/84, she was represented by Messrs Malambo and Company, this was about three months ago. The complaint at Judicial Complaints Authority was commenced in 2016 against her and other judges, our petition was filed in 2017. Madam Justice Hildah Chibomba has been sitting on our case since 2017 whilst her case is actively being represented by Messrs Malambo and Company. We have a situation that Madam Justice Chibomba and UPND have one law firm as clients. This situation is undesirable and deliberate to intimidate us and the three i.e. Madam Justice Chibomba, the UPND and Messrs Malambo and Company have an inseparable relationship which any morally upright person could have changed lawyers or the judge should not even have made an appearance on our petition as the parties could feel intimidated and believe that there could be bias and collusion. This is incompetence and gross misconduct on the part of this honourable judge,” read the complaint.
“This is a violation of the Constitution and Judicial Code of Conduct. The judge is assumed to have paid legal fees to Messrs Malambo & Company who could not have charged her professional fees because they were appearing before her together with UPND. We urge the Judicial Complaints Authority to investigate her for incompetence and gross misconduct as no judge of her standing as Constitutional Court President will allow herself to be in a conflicted position.”
And the Petitioners asked the JCC to ask justice Chibomba to recuse herself from handling President Lungu’s eligibility case.
“Further, may you immediately advise her that you have received our complaint against her so that she can recuse herself or we shall withdraw our petition before her. We enclose the copy of the ruling and our petition, by copy of this complaint the Honourable Madam Justice Chibomba is advised accordingly,’ read the complaint.