MMD leader Nevers Mumba, through his lawyers from Simeza, Sangwa and Associates, has written to Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima over Magistrate David Simusamba’s alleged judicial misconduct.
In a letter dated April 6, 2018, Mumba’s lawyers stated that they were disappointed when magistrate Simusamba said he was in Ndola, on official duty, on the day he was supposed to make a ruling on their clients bail application.
They stated that magistrate Simusamba had made several unnecessary adjournments throughout Mumba’s trespassing case adding that he appeared to be pushing a political agenda.
“We were surprised when we appeared at court on 5th April 2017 only to be advised by the Magistrate’s interpreter that the magistrate had left for Ndola on duty. We accordingly requested the interpreter to confirm with the magistrate on phone. The magistrate picked up the call from his interpreter and reiterated that he was in Ndola but then informed the interpreter to tell the parties to wait as he was making arrangements to send the court record. We waited until after 15:30 when we were informed that he was unable to send the court record and that he would only deliver his ruling on Monday 9th April 2018. We were surprised by this development as the magistrate ought to have been aware on 3rd Avril 2018 when he heard the bail application and reserved his ruling to Thursday 5th April 2018 that he would be traveling out of town on the scheduled date. Unfortunately, this is how the learned magistrate has conducted himself throughout these proceedings,” Mumba’s lawyers stated.
“My Lady, we are addressing this complaint to you as the head of the Judiciary and in view of Article 136 of the Constitution which charges you with the responsibility to administratively manage the judiciary and with the added duty to ensure that judicial officers perform judicial functions with dignity, propriety and integrity.”
They stated that magistrate Simusamba’s conduct did not foster integrity and honour.
“Notably, the Judicial Code of Conduct in Section 10 requires a judicial officer to diligently discharge the officer’s administrative duties and to foster integrity, honor and dignity the administration of justice. With due respect to the honorable magistrate Simusamba, we do not think his conduct meets the requirements of Section 10(1) as his conduct in the administration of justice in this matter does not foster integrity, honour and dignity of the office he occupies. The Magistrate’s behaviour in this matter undermines the independence, integrity and professionalism of the Judiciary. He appears to be pushing a political agenda instead of remaining independent and impartial. The Purpose of our writing this letter is to bring to the attention of your office how badly the magistrate has behaved in this matter and seek your intervention,” stated Mumba’s lawyers.