Constitutional court judge who has vested interest in the presidential petition Anne Mwewa Sitali has recused herself from making a ruling on the 14days after the petitioner lawyers argued that by law any matter to do with interpreting the computation of time can only be heard by the full bench..
Sangwa John and Musa Mwenye argued that By law,anything pertaining to presidential petition must be heard by a full bench of judges.
Petitioners’ Lawyer also argued that it is strange that the same judge has contradicted her initial position on commencing hearing tomorrow and conclude on the 8th September 2016.
Her position changed when respondent lawyers made a submission of a list of authorities yesterday after the ruling by the same judge that custody and preservation of election materials is the jurisdiction of the ECZ but was challenged by the petitioners who argued that it was a misdirection for the respondents to make that assumption.
The petitioners also argued that the judge is contradicting herself when the law is clear if she accepts to hear the matter on the computation of time.
She then directed that the matter of computation of time be subjected to the full bench and that the formal application should be made by petitioners so that the matter is heard tomorrow at 08hrs.
Initially the PF lawyers had just submitted a list of authorities ( provisions of the law) without an application.
When there is a formal application filed in before the court from the respondents the petitioners are supposed to be saved with the skeleton argument of the same application which will have an argument over a certain matter.
Then the matter is heard before the court.
It is important for us to state that the embattled PF lawyers did not do that but just started an argument which amounts to procedural impropriety.
This is the more reason why the Judge Sitali directed that the matter be heard before a full bench and that the respondents make a formal application to that effect.
Judge Sitali further directed that the matter be heard together with the main petition .
This is in a matter in which the respondent lawyers submitted a list of authourities yesterday that the 14 days end tomorrow.
Apart from being married to a PF enterprenuer, Annie Sitali is a Rupiah Banda person. She was a parliamentary drafts person at Ministry of Justice when Banda was Vice President. Annie asked RB to help her become Permanent Secretary at Justice through the husband’s friend and Partner Late Lwambe Mondolola who was the Managing Director for BCHOD. Sitali was appointed PS and soon after Rupiah Banda became President after the death of Levy Mwanawasa, Annie Sitali was appointed High Court Judge by Rupiah Banda. For your own information, it is Annie Sitali who signed the consent Judgment some few months ago that restored Rupiah Banda’s immunity. Coincidentally, Rupiah Banda was represented by Abyud Shonga who was Attorney General during RB’s reign. Abyud Shonga is representing ECZ in the petition. Can you see RB’s touch?