Zambia News

Judge sued for defamation

Judge Kenneth Mulife of the Lusaka High Court has been sued by a proponent of research for defamation of character.

Bright Kaluba has also accused High Court Judge Kenneth Mulife of making rulings even before parties show up before him for a trial in the defamation lawsuit.

Now, Mr. Kaluba is requesting that the High Court order Judge Mulife to retract the false accusations made against him.

When the judge reportedly accused him of being unethical and unprofessional, he contends that the judge defamed him.

Judge Mulife and the Attorney General are named as respondents in the plaintiff’s statement of claim, which was submitted this month.

The complainant claims that the Judicial Service Commission designated him as a research advocate on May 6, 2020, and that he served in that capacity until resigning on December 19, 2022.

The Judiciary Management placed Mr. Kaluba to Lusaka High Court Judge Gaudentia Salasini’s chambers as a research advocate, according to him, before he quit.

“The plaintiff remained attached to Justice Salasini’s chambers until December 2021 when he was reassigned to the chambers of Judge Mulife,” the document reads.

Mr. Kaluba was moved to Judge Mulife’s chambers at the High Court family and children’s division on December 6, 2021.

He asserts that Judge Mulife instructed him that it was preferable for him to draft decisions in advance of the parties’ appearance before him for the trial and before they submitted their arguments.

The purpose of this, according to the text, was to allow the adjudicator to provide decisions within an hour or so of the hearing.

The plaintiff claims that on May 26, 2020, he filed a complaint against Judge Mulife with his supervisor after noticing how strange and unprofessional the job instructions were being carried out within the chamber.

The plaintiff claimed that Judge Mulife tended to release many judgments rather than being concerned with their quality.

He asserts that the Judge would provide him with papers so that he could draft judgments even before parties would come before him and present arguments.

However, the plaintiff claims that after receiving the complaint through WhatsApp, his superiors said nothing.

He claims that on June 17, 2022, Judge Mulife made a very improper decision by complaining about him (Mr. Kaluba) directly to the chief administrator rather than the Supreme Court registrar, who is his immediate superior.

Gross misbehavior, absenteeism from duty, and subpar performance were all alleged in the lawsuit.

According to Mr. Kaluba, three days after receiving a charge letter dated July 12, 2022, he filed an exculpatory letter disputing the charges.

In connection with the earlier accusations, he was later charged.

According to Mr. Kaluba, neither a date for his disciplinary hearing nor a decision based on the complaint, allegations, and exculpatory letter were made.

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