Concourt dismisses Mutembo Nchito’s application to subpoena judge Mathew Zulu

By Staff Reporter

THE Constitutional Court has refused to grant former Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchtio permission to subpoena High Court judge Mathew Zulu.

Judge Zulu was at the time the secretary for the tribunal that recommended his removal from office.

Mutembo applied to subpoena Zulu to testify in a petition in which he is challenging his removal and also to produce documents which came into his possession as tribunal secretary.

According to the court ruling delivered by judges Mungeni Mulenga, Palan Mulonda and Martin Musaluke, the bench declined to subpoena judge Zulu, saying he  was not relevant in the petition before it.

The court said Mutembo was entitled to call witnesses to aid his case but added that they were of the view that the two reliefs that he is seeking are purely on legal issues which meant that judge Zulu was not relevant.

“In this matter before us, we note that in the two surviving reliefs sought in the amended petition, the petitioner seeks to challenge the legality of his removal from office of DPP under Article 144 of the Constitution as amended and he seeks to question whether he can be availed with the findings and determinations of the Tribunal under Article 58 of the Constitution before it was amended,” the ruling further read. “The facts on record regarding his removal  under Article 144 of the Constitution  as amended as well as the proceedings before the Tribunal are not in dispute. The said witness cannot therefore, be considered as being relevant to the case before us.”

The court said the fact that litigants were at liberty to subpoena witnesses deemed fit, it did not entitle them to abuse the privilege but it was for the purpose of obtaining relevant evidence to the case.

The court ordered each party to bear own costs.

Mutembo cited the Attorney General in this case.

Solicitor General Abraham Mwansa had urged the court not to allow Mutembo to subpoena judge Zulu