Sunday, July 27, 2014

Legal opinion was not classified information, Kabimba
By Francis Lungu
Tue 21 Jan. 2014, 16:00 CAT

JUSTICE Minister Wynter Kabimba this morning told the tribunal investigating him that the professional legal opinion he got from Solicitor General Musa Mwenye was not classified information.

He also said he does not interfere with the independence of the Judiciary and that he stands to uphold its integrity and independence in its dispersion of justice.

"I respect the integrity and the independence of the Judiciary; I shall work to uphold those. I have not interfered with any member of the judiciary. There was no pecuniary advantage as a result of that opinion," he said. "And as a public officer, the Solicitor General has a duty to render legal opinion to political parties."

This is in a matter in which the PF secretary general is cited for abuse of office, breach of secrecy of oath and interference with the independence of the Judiciary for copying a professional legal opinion from Mwenye to PF lawyers, Ellis and Company and acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda on election petitions.

Lucky Mulusa, former MMD Solwezi Central MP whose election was nullified by the Supreme court on grounds of election malpractice and a Brebner Changala are the complainant.

The two want the tribunal to probe Kabimba for allegedly breaching parliamentary and ministerial code of conduct and interfering with the independence of the Judiciary.

He was testifying before the tribunal chaired by acting Supreme Court judge Evans Hamaundu, who sat with judges Gertrude Chawatama and Justine Chashi, and led by his lead counsel Bonaventure Mutale, Kabimba said there was nothing wrong with him seeking professional legal opinion from Mwenye over the seats that were nullified due to corruption and whether the corrupt candidates could re-contest the elections or not.

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