Acting Chief Justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa says the Constitutional Court was aware of the attacks and insults on it from UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema but for unexplained reasons, they did not charge him with contempt of court.
Mwanamwamba was responding to a letter from a Lufwanyama resident, Henry Chilombo, who wanted Hichilema to be investigated saying some of his sentiments could constitute contempt of court.
Chilombo referred to a media briefing in which Hichilema accused Constitutional Court Justices Mungeni Mulenga, Palan Mulonda and Annie Sitali of being corrupt.
Chilombo stated that Hichilema repeated the same sentiments during a visit to South Africa, accusing the three judges of being under President Edgar Lungu’s control for throwing out his petition.
And in his response, Mwanamwambwa wondered why the ConCourt did not cite Hichilema for contempt despite the evidence.
“The procedure on contempt of court is that it is for the court or adjudicator attacked or insulted, who should have the culprit summoned and charged for contempt of court. In this particular case it was the Constitutional Court that was attacked and insulted. They were aware of the attacks and insults but for unexplained reasons, they did not charge the culprit with contempt of court. It is not for the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice or the Supreme Court, to make an inquiry into the matter. In fact, the matter does not need an inquiry because the evidence is already there,” stated Mwanamwambwa.
“It is documented in the form of a report of utterances by the named culprit. The Supreme Court does not tolerate attacks and insults on it. As of now, there are a number of persons facing charges for contempt of court before it, for attacking and insulting it.”