11 September, 2013
Zambian President Michael Sata yesterday suspended two High Court judges without giving any reasons and appointed two tribunals to probe their conduct.The Zambian leader suspended Judge Emelia Sunkutu and Timothy Katanekwa and appointed two retired justices to chair the tribunals.
The president, during a swearing-in ceremony for officials to sit on the two tribunals at State House, only said there is need for Zambians to know the truth about the two judges and expressed confidence that the two retired justices will execute their mandate with no challenge.
He did not disclose when the two tribunals will start sitting. The suspension of the two judges and the establishment of the tribunals to probe them comes on the back heel of another tribunal set in May 2012 to probe two other high court judges and one Supreme Court judge over their conduct.
Sata suspended Supreme Court Judge Philip Musonda and High Court judges Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga over their alleged professional misconduct and appointed Malawian Judge Lovemore Chikopa to chair the tribunal.
However, the tribunal has dragged on and failed to sit as the three judges challenged the matter in court. The southern African country’s second main opposition party, the United Party for National Development, has questioned the motive behind the setting up of the tribunals to probe judges.
“Where are we going with these tribunals? Even before Chikopa has started sitting, two more tribunals are set up,” the party said in a statement posted on its facebook page