ConCourt orders PF sympathiser Ngwira to apologise publicly within 7days
By Staff Reporter
THE Constitutional Court has ordered PF sympathizer Chanoda Ngwira to apologize to Supreme Court justices Mumba Malila, Albert Wood and also former DPP Mutembo Nchito within seven days for interfering in administration of justice the matter.
Constitutional judges Mungeni Mulenga sitting with justices Enock Mulembe, Palan Mulonda, Prof Margaret Munalula and Martin Musaluke have also censured Ngwira for his wanton behaviour and warned him that his conduct which was calculated to prejudice or interfere in the due administration should never be repeated as it attracts consequences.
In this case, Mutembo, the former Director of Public Prosecutions instituted contempt of court proceedings against Ngwira who wrote letters to justice Malila and justice Wood threatening them with criminal action if they did not step down.
This was after justices Malila and Wood filed into court witness statements in the petition in which Mutembo is challenging his removal as DPP.
According to a ruling read by judge Mulonda, Ngwira is ordered to publish the apologies, as undertaken, to the affected parties and to cause the apology to be published on all media platforms used to publish the alleged contemptuous material within seven days from yesterday, Friday.
“We however, wish to censure the alleged contemnor for his wanton
behaviour and warn that the same should never be repeated. Contempt
which is calculated to prejudice or interfere in the due administration
of justice attracts brave consequences. Further, we hereby order the
alleged contemnor to render apologies to the affected parties and to
cause the apologies to be published on all media platforms used to
publish the alleged contemptuous material within seven days from the
date of this ruling,” judge Mulonda said.
Making submissions in the matter on May 14, Ngwira’s lawyer Jonas Zimba told the court that his client had agreed to purge the contempt.
Zimba informed the court that he had instructions to tender an apology, in particular that Ngwira unreservedly apologized to the court for the actions complained of.
He said Ngwira undertook to withdraw the statement made against
the judges involved, as well as, make a public apology.
Zimba added that he had occasioned to converse with Mutembo on the new development.
In response, Mutembo confirmed Zimba’s statement and commended
him for the approach he took of properly advising Ngwira, which according to him, was not usual in their jurisdiction.
He advised the court to take into account the conduct of Ngwira’s lawyer Zimba.
Meanwhile, judge Mulonda said the court had considered the turn of events in the contempt matter, adding that the position taken by the respective parties had effectively terminated the proceedings.
“This matter concerns the interference of legal proceedings or generally, the due administration of justice. The position taken by the respective parties in that the alleged contemnor has sought to purge the contempt by making amends and the applicant is in agreement to
have the contempt purged, has effectively terminated the proceedings,” said judge Mulonda.