Copperbelt woman accuses ConCourt judge of sexual abuse, defilement
By Julia Malunga,
A COPPERBELT based woman has written to the Judiciary complaining that a judge of the Constitutional Court had sex with her from when she was 14 years old, and as such, is not fit to be on the bench.
And the judge in question has told News Diggers that the allegations against him are too serious and he would not wish to comment on them through the media.
Meanwhile, the Judiciary says it cannot act on the allegations because it was a private matter, adding that the address that the accuser used to report a complaint against a sitting judge was wrong.
The lady who was commenting on Constitutional Lawyer John Sangwa’s call for judges to be publicly interviewed, said she agreed with the suggestion and cited her case with the named judge as an example of why Judges must be publicly scrutinised.
In an email dated October 9, 2021 sent to the Judiciary, the lady said there was need for openness when recruiting judges.
“I totally agree with the SC on the need for openness when recruiting Judges. Judges like Justice… do not qualify to sit on the bench. Justice… was sleeping with me from the time I was 14 years old in 1992. I had several abortions and later had a child by him in 1998, my child died in 2020 under very suspicious circumstances in his house. No investigation was done, no one could help me get answers to my questions and when I tried to further probe what happened to my son in his house, he threatened me and said that no one will listen to me because he is a big person in society and the law will protect him. He is among the PF corrupt Judges and with no humanity in him. I therefore support the SC so that going forward only people of integrity can be Judges. And I hope this email gets to someone who can listen to me,” the email read.
When contacted, the lady said she was merely trying to support the proposal for openness when recruiting Judges.
“I was going to talk about this if my privacy was concealed but then, it is already there. My name is already dragged in the mud so how can I… I made my point and my point was that a proper background check must be carried out. The point I was trying to make was agreeing with the State Counsel not that I wanted public sympathy, no. I was making a point and giving an example,” said the lady.
When contacted, the accused Judge asked this reporter for a physical meeting which took place at his office at the Supreme Court Building.
The Judge said the allegations were shocking and that it would be inappropriate to make comments at this stage adding that a statement would be given at an appropriate time.
“I have heard the serious allegations levelled against me. My position, my lady, is that since there are such serious allegations, it will not be appropriate for me to start making comments because it will mean that I am now taking the serious allegations to the press, I [don’t] want to react in the press. So I beg for your pardon. But I will wait for what happens on the serious allegations she has made. She has made her allegation; those are her allegations. And I find that it is inappropriate to start making statements at this stage. Those allegations are shocking. I don’t want to fall prey to reacting in the press, that will be inappropriate. At the appropriate time, a statement will be given,” said the Judge.
Meanwhile, Judiciary Public Relations Officer Kalumba Chisambisha-Slavin said any complaint against a Judge should be formally addressed to the Office of the Chief Justice.
“It is a private matter, we really do not know, we cannot comment on something we don’t know. The email went to a general Judiciary email address so really that is neither here nor there we cannot comment over that. But if there is a complaint against judge…. that should be addressed to the Office of the Chief Justice and then the Office of the Chief Justice will do whatever it is that it is supposed to do. If there is a complaint against a judge that should be formally addressed not all of us are on social media. You forwarded me something, it could be anyone who wrote it. I could write something and forward it to you. I could have seven email addresses from which I am writing stuff so that is neither here nor there,” Slavin said.
When asked if the Judiciary would act on the email, Slavin insisted that a complaint should be addressed to the Office of the Chief Justice.
“What action? I could write an email and send it to someone, what action are you expecting? That is what I am saying if there is something, can that person write to the Office of the Chief Justice, thereafter then the due course will be followed,” said Slavin.
During the Public Discussion Forum of Transparency in the Judiciary and Appointment of Judges last week, Sangwa SC told the audience that he had also received an email from the woman who was accusing the ConCourt judge.
He said the allegations that the woman made were too grave that if they were true, there is no way the accused judge should be allowed to stay in office, adding that if they are false, then the accuser would need to face the consequences.- NEWS DIGGERS