The high court was today made to taste the hearing of the UPND perition which huded no answers after 2hours of being in the chamber.The UPND presidential petition has been adjourned to April 12 to allow Attorney General Likando Kalaluka to respond to the UPND’s application to compel judge Mwila Chitabo to recuse himself on grounds that there was reasonable cause to question his impartiality.
On 15th March it was date whichi was set for hearing of the main matter for the petitioners but Chitabo upon arrival at the court premises, he told some journalists who were inside the court the he was not aware of any sort to hear to UPND petition and set today 16th to hear the preliminary matter.
In a normal country, Chitabo could have just stepped aside for a neutral judge instead of insisting to hear a matter when has demonstrated hatred for the petitioners.
Chitalus integrity and impartiality has been queationed by UPND party for being a Partisan. And Chitabo has said he want to hear from Kalaluka, to weather he should continue or stop.
When litigants say they don’t trust the judge, it is in the interest of justice for that judge to recuse himself. Zambia is not short of judges for Chitabo to insist on hearing the UPND matters.
On Tuesday, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and his vice Geoffery Bwalya Mwamba filed a motion to compel Lusaka High Court judge Mwila Chitabo to recuse himself from presiding over their presidential petition.
Read the letter below which Hakainde and his vice Mwamba wrote to the court.
“Take notice that Hakainde Hichilema and Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, the petitioners above named shall at the intended hearing of this petition on the 15th March, 2017 at 09:00 hours (or any other date hereof) to move this honorable court to on an application on the part of the said petitioners that His Lordship Justice Mwila Chitabo SC, does recuse himself from presiding over this matter and that the matter be transferred to another judge, or panel of judges of the High Court on the following grounds, that is to say: that there is reasonable cause to question his Lordships impartiality in this matter on the grounds of personal bias or perceived bias in his conduct of the proceedings; and that his Lordship cannot otherwise preside over this matter due to a conflict of interest which disqualifies him from so presiding. Take further notice that that petitioners will rely, inter alia, on their joint affidavit in support of the motion and skeleton argument filed herewith,” read the notice of motion.