UPND petition against Speaker drags in court

THE Lusaka High Court yesterday failed to hear the matter in which 54 UPND members of parliament have challenged Speaker Patrick Matibini’s decision to reprimand them for boycotting official opening of Parliament last September.

This was because the state was not ready.

The UPND members of parliament in this case applied for leave to commence judicial review proceedings against Speaker Matibini’s decision.

They applied that if leave was granted, it should act as a stay of the speakers decision.

Judge Susan Wenjelani refused to grant the ex-parte order for stay of Dr Matibini’s decision as prayed for by the applicants. She however ordered for an inter-partes hearing.

And when the matter came up for hearing, lawyers representing the members of parliament among them Keith Mweemba said they were ready to proceed but the state sought an adjournment because it was not ready to proceed.

The state through Major Constantine Hara submitted that they were not served with the inter-parte hearing documents adding that the documents that they were served indicated that the matter was coming up for ex parte.

Major Hara said the state required time to get instructions from its clients.

Ruling on the application to adjourn the case, judge Wanjelani said she gave the state the benefit of the doubt.

” Considering that the application was of urgent nature, I will allow a short adjournment. This matter will come up on 6th April, 2017

The matter comes up on April 6.

An affidavit filed by UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka indicated that the ruling by the Speaker was irregular, illegal and unreasonable.

         

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