20 May 2013

Zambia: Rights Activist Calls On Malawi to Recall Judge Chikopa

Women rights activist Sarah Longwe has appealed to the President of Malawi Joyce Banda to withdraw Judge Lovemore Chikopa from overseeing the tribunal of the three suspended Zambian judges.

Longwe said Chikopa was wasting Zambians' tax payers' money by taking up a futile cause.

Chikopa has been in the country for almost a year and stuck to the uptown Intercontinental Hotel during the period the tribunal had been halted due to a legal challenge.

"President Joyce Banda - For the sake of solidarity between Malawi and Zambia, please advise your judiciary ministry to advise Justice Chikopa to withdraw from the unnecessary money wasting Zambian tribunal that he has erroneously taken up," Longwe said.

"For instance, the resources are needed to better the maternity facilities and save women's lives rather than continue to spend on his legal fee and others for a situation that will not benefit anybody in the end."

Chikopa's presence has been a highly divisive matter with its critics saying the President should have used other avenues to rectify the problem.

The Supreme Court led by acting Chief Justice Chibesakunda overturned High Court Judge Fulgence Chisanga's decision to grant the suspended judges leave to seek judicial review.

The trio among them Supreme Court Judge Phillip Musonda and High Court Judges Charles Kajimanga and Nigel Mutuna are being investigated for what many see as a crime for having ruled against President Michael Sata's friends- Post Newspapers owner Fred M'membe and Director of Public Prosecution Mutembo Nchito.

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