The Constitutional Court has maintained that ministers must pay back salaries and other emoluments which they accrued by staying in office after Parliament was dissolved before the 2016 elections.
On August 8, 2016; just three days before the elections, the ConCourt ordered in favour of the Law Association of Zambia which had challenged ministers’ continued stay in office after the dissolution of parliament.
ConCourt judges had ruled that it was wrong for President Edgar Lungu to maintain the ministers in office; ordering them to vacate with immediate effect and pay pack their salaries to the Treasury; a decision which excited Zambians.
But Attorney General Likando Kalaluka filed a petition in the ConCourt in October asking it to reopen the case and review the judgement saying it was an injustice akin to slavery to order former ministers to repay salaries and allowances after they worked and earned the money.
“It is in this regard that we maintain that to order that the former ministers pay back the salaries and allowances received after dissolution of Parliament is an injustice especially considering that they were directed to remain in office on the basis of ambiguous and obscure provisions,” stated Kalaluka.
But LAZ asked the ConCourt to throw out Kalaluka’s because he had no right to represent former ministers who were in office illegally.
LAZ as Attorney General, Kalaluka was supposed to represent the interests of the public and not those of former ministers whom the court had ruled against.
And reading the unanimous ruling of ConCourt judges today, judge Margaret Munalula said Kalaluka had no locus standi to challenge their decision.
She said Kalaluka could not appoint himself lawyer for the former ministers and ruled that the court’s judgment of August 8, 2016 was still binding.