Supreme Court snubs Mpinganjira

The Supreme Court has thrown out an application by bribery suspect Thom Mpinganjira who wanted Judge Dorothy DeGabrielle to recuse herself from the judge bribery case and for the case to be declared as a mistrial.

Mpinganjira appealed to the Supreme Court against De Gabrielle’s refusal to recuse herself from the case and for the court to declare the case a mistrial.

However, Supreme Court Jude Rezine Mzikamanda has found no good reason to stay the proceedings.

On the recusal, Mzikamanda said the application should be heard by a full bench of the Supreme Court and not by a single Judge.

Mpinganjira is being accused of attempting to bribe elections case judges in 2019.

Last month, Mpinganjira who was found with a case to answer, claimed that he was approached by relations of a High Court judge who told him that the judge could facilitate a suspended sentence in exchange for K200 million to be paid after ruling.

The businessperson also claimed that he got a message alleging that Judge Dorothy DeGabrielle could deliver a favourable judgement if he paid money.

However, DeGabrielle refused to recuse herself over the claims saying she remains independent and no Judge can influence her handling of the case.

She said: “It is irregular to request a Judge’s recusal in pre-hearing. It would have been travesty of justice if I would have come to court to say I am recusing myself.

“This trial has always been public, everything this court has done is on record, it is a public trial, the independence and impartiality of the court has always been there, allowing the defendant to make applications and rule on them. It is Wrong to impugn impropriety based on external issues.”

Mpinganjira then appealed to the Supreme Court which has also snubbed him. This morning, the businessperson is expected to continue entering is defence in the case.