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 2009-09-04 11:46 pm Back to NEWS
High court Judge intervenes in 'Comedy of Errors'

HIGH Court judge Albert Wood has today directed and ordered that proceedings relating to the alleged contempt of court case involving Post editor-in-chief Fred M'membe, his deputy Sam Mujuda and Professor Muna Ndulo be stayed until after the hearing of the motion for judicial review.

According to an order granting leave to apply for judicial review filed in the Lusaka High Court at the principal registry, justice Wood directed that further proceedings relating to the case be stayed. 

"Upon reading the statement lodged pursuant to Rule 3 (2) of Order 53 of the Rules of the Supreme Court and upon reading the affidavit of Sam Mujuda filed herewith and upon hearing counsel on behalf of the applicants for leave to apply for judicial review for orders of Certiorari and Declaration in respect of a decision or order of the chief resident magistrate at Lusaka made on the 2nd September 2009," justice Wood stated. "It is ordered that the application be allowed and that the said applicants do have leave to issue a Notice of motion for judicial review as aforesaid: It is further directed and ordered that all further proceedings relating to the contempt of court alleged be stayed until after the hearing of the motion for judicial review herein or until further order."

The applicants are Sam Mujuda, Fred M'membe and Prof Ndulo as first, second and third applicants respectively with the Attorney General as the respondent.

And in statement on ex-parte application for leave to apply for judicial review filed in the Lusaka High Court principal registry yesterday, the reliefs sought included: "(a) An order of Certiorari to remove into this Honourable Court for purpose of it being quashed the decision or order made by the chief resident magistrate at Lusaka (Mr Charles Kafunda) on the 2nd day of September 2009 whereby it was ordered that bench warrant be issued which was issued for the arrest of the 2nd applicant for not attending Court in a matter where he was not personally summoned and served; (b) an order of Certiorari to remove into this Honourable Court for purpose of it being quashed the decision or order made by the chief resident magistrate at Lusaka (Mr Charles Kafunda) on the 2nd day of September 2009 whereby it was ordered that the applicants be cited for contempt of court and should thus show cause why they should not be committed for contempt of court in relation to an article published in The Post newspaper edition of the 27th day of August 2009 headlined "The Chansa Kabwela Case: A Comedy of Errors" (c) further or alternatively a declaration that the decisions or orders of the chief magistrate aforesaid were and are invalid and void and of no effect (d) any other relief that the Honourable Court may deem just in the circumstances and that all necessary and consequential directions be given and that all proceedings on the said decision be stayed until after the hearing of the motion or further order."

And the grounds upon which the reliefs were sought are as follows: "(a) the decision of the learned chief magistrate violates sections 98 and 100 of the Criminal Procedure Code Cap 88 relating to the requirement of personal service of a summons and proof of service thereof before the court can issue a bench warrant; (b) the decision of the learned chief magistrate violates the procedural law governing the institution of contempt proceedings in that the alleged contempt not having occurred in the face of the court, summary procedures are unavailable to the court."

 
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