The Supreme Court has summoned CiSCA chairperson Bishop John Mambo and Southern Africa Network against Corruption (SANAC) executive director Gregory Chifire to answer for contempt charges in a case of Savenda vs Stanbic Bank on July 17.
According to summons served on Chifire, Tuesday, the civil rights activist is expected to appear before the Supreme Court to show cause why he should not be cited for contempt.
In count one, Chifire is accused of causing to be published an article on the Zambian Watchdog headlined “Mambilima is the most corrupt judge”.
In the said article, Chifire charged that Chief Justice Irene Mambilima was presiding over the most corrupt judiciary in the history of post independent Zambia.
He accused Chief Justice Mambilima of ignoring corruption evidence against judges who presided over the Savenda vs Stanbic Bank case.
“A lot of money is alleged to have exchanged hands, and is still exchanging hands even thus time around just to suppress justice, all under the watch of her Lordship the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice ought to allow her subordinates cited in this case to be probed,” read part of the story.
“She needs to suspend the judges and allow for a tribunal against them…if anything, citizens will begin to think the Chief Justice was also a beneficiary.”
In count two, Chifire allegedly committed contempt of court when he wrote to Chief Justice Mambilima concerning the matter,
“I submit to your office that this Supreme Court judgment has affected the delivery of the justice system in Zambia and if the judgement is allowed to stand in view of the glaring omissions on the part of the Supreme Court, it has a potential to inhibit justice and development jurisprudence,” read part of Chifire’s letter to Chief Justice Mambilima on May 10, 2018.
In count three, Chifire is accused of causing to be published another article on Zambian Watchdog, disparaging the judiciary, on June 15, 2018.
And in the fourth and final count, Chifire is accused of causing to be published an article in The Mast Newspaper an article headlined “Judiciary one of the most corrupt in Zambia” on July 2, 2018.
Meanwhile, according to summons also served on him yesterday, Bishop Mambo, who has been summoned in his capacity as Chikondi Foundation Board chairperson, allegedly committed contempt by writing a letter to Chief Justice Mambilima over the same matter.
“The legal suit against the bank by Savenda, though given a favorable decision at the lower court, was suspiciously overturned by the higher court on appeal…most judges seem to be more interested in achieving personal ambitions at the expense of justice for all and equality before the law…,” read Bishop Mambo’s letter in part.
Last year, the Court of Appeal had ruled in favour of Stanbic Bank Zambia in a long-running dispute with a defaulting borrower Savenda, that sued the bank claiming K192.5 million in damages for loss of business as a result of being registered as a bad debtor with the Credit Reference Bureau.
The case centered on loans made by Stanbic Bank to a procurement and logistics company, Savenda Management Services Limited, in 2008.