UPND MPs lose petition against Speaker

The Lusaka High Court has thrown out a petition by 46 UPND members of parliament who were seeking leave for judicial review to challenge Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini’s decision to suspend them.

The MPs were suspended for boycotting President Edgar Lungu’s State of the Nation address for a second time in March.

When the matter came up for ruling today, Judge Petronella Ngulube threw out their application for judicial review saying there was no arguable case fit for further investigation at a full interpartes hearing.

Judge Ngulube said she was not persuaded to exercise her discretion to grant judicial review and granted costs to the respondent.

She said on procedural impropriety, there was again no issue worthy of a substantive hearing as the lawmakers were given an opportunity to be heard by the Committee on Privileges on the charge of absenteeism from the National Assembly on March 17, 2017 and responded through their advocates.

Nalikwanda member of Parliament Geoffrey Lungwangwa and others sought leave to apply for judicial review on grounds that the Speaker’s decision was illegal because they were just exercising their freedom of expression as guaranteed in the Constitution by boycotting President Lungu’s address.

         

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