PF’s Ngwira Admits Authoring Letters Threatening 2 Judges
PF supporter Chanoda Ngwira who is facing contempt proceedings in the Constitutional court when he wrote letters to two Supreme Court judges Albert Wood and Mumba Malila who earlier testified in the case in which former Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito is challenging his dismissal has admitted having written the two letters because he wanted the nation to know that the said justices committed an offence by accepting to be witnesses against the state as officers of the judiciary.
He said this when he was being cross examined by Nchito who who petitioned the court to cite Ngwira for contempt of court for allegedly threatening two Supreme Court Judges for giving witness statements in the Mutembo Nchito petition.
The former DPP moved the court in a motion for an order of committal pursuant to orders 52/1 (1) and 52/4 (1) of the rules of the Supreme Court.
Ngwira was on November 8 summoned to appear before court to show cause why he should not be jailed over the two letters he wrote to Supreme Court justices threatening them with criminal action for giving witness statements in the Mutembo Nchito petition.
In addition he has said he also wanted the nation and the public to know that he had given the two justices five days ultimatum to step down or he will commence private prosecution against them as they are prohibited by to to accept to give evidence against the state without the clearance from Judiciary.
However Ngwira has clarified that it is not an offence by the two judges to give evidence before court but it became an offence when they accepted to give evidence before they were cleared by the judiciary in accordance to section 5 (4) of the judicial code of conduct.
He has told the full bench of court led by Justice Mungeni Mulenga that the aim of writing to the two justices was to stop the commissioning of the offense and as a concerned citizen upon realizing that Judges Wood and Malila were not within the law to give evidence against the state.
And when asked what he has done about the five day ultimatum given to the two judges who he says he has put up a formal complaint against the two judges at Woodlands Police Station to allow the commencement of investigations
On the conduct of the duo to accept to be witnesses without the clearance if the judiciary.
When further asked to clarify on what character evidence did the two judges said about MNchito, The alleged conteminor says he does not know what character evidence is.
It was at this point that Nchito put it to Ngwira that he was not the one who authored the two letters but he was only used by someone who knows law.
In his response, he has stated that he was the one who authored the two letters and appended his signatures.
Ngwira has maintained and insisted that he does not want Justices Wood and Malila to give evidence before court as it was against the judicial code of conduct.
When it was put to him that it was better for him Ngwira to apologize to the court for using evidence that he did not know, he has stated that he has back up that is why he wrote those letters.
Earlier in his submissions the petitioner Nchito who has cited a number of authorities has told the Constitutional Court that the conduct of Ngwira is clearly contemptuous and meant to undermine the due administration of justice and prevent witnesses from coming to court.
He told the court that what Ngwira did was to threaten witnesses and according to his affidavit he indicated that he was exercising his rights to stop the commissioning of the offence.
In addition Nchito has submitted that Ngwira’s conduct was a misguided attempt to impact the proceedings before court as he has add problems to get witnesses to testify in his case.
In his , Nchito contended that Ngwira’s conduct of writing justices Mumba Malila and Albert Wood on October 29 demanding that they step down and if not, threatening them with criminal action for giving witness statements in a matter the court ordered him to furnish witness statements and copying the letter to the judges presiding over the cause, was calculated to prejudice the due course of justice in the matter.
He stated that Ngwira had gone so far to publish acknowledgment of receipt of his letters from the chambers of ConCourt judges and others.
Ngwira on October 26 allegedly wrote to justices Mumba Malila and Albert Wood and gave them five days to voluntarily step down for accepting to be witnesses on behalf of Mutembo in a case he is challenging his removal as Director of Public Prosecutions in the Constitutional Court.
According to the two separate letters addressed to justices Malila and Wood dated October 26 and copied to the President, Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, all Constitutional Court judges, Judicial Service Commission, Judicial Complaints Commission, DPP, Anti-Corruption Commission director general and Drug Enforcement Commission commissioner, Ngwira asked the two justices to step down in order to allow investigations into their conduct like other judges have done in the past.
Judges Malila and Wood gave witness statements in the matter before the Constitutional Court. Justice Malila stated that although one of the terms of reference for the tribunal that investigated Mutembo and recommended his removal as DPP included an allegation that he entered a nolle prosequi in the case of The People vs Dr Rajan L. Mahtani, no one consulted him before the tribunal was constituted.
Source: Zambia Reports