Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly Cecilia Sikatele says the application to seek Judicial Review over the impeachment motion by some Lusaka residents is baseless the said motion has not yet been tabled on the floor of the House; hence there are no proceedings to halt.
Robert Chabinga and Henry Mulenga, who are being represented by Hobday Kabwe and Company, Lewis Mosho of Lewis Nathan Advocates and Kanja Mpundu of Palan and George Advocates, have challenged the Speaker’s decision to entertain the impeachment motion in the Lusaka High Court, arguing that it is unreasonable, procedurally improper and illegal.
But in an Affidavit in opposition to ex-parte summons for leave to apply for judicial review filed on April 17, Sikatele observed that the applicants’ application was anchored on misapprehension of facts, because no decision has been made by Speaker Patrick Matibini on whether or not to admit the motion.
“We wish to state that the parliamentary proceedings are neither fraught with illegality or irregularity nor do they constitute a manifest interference with the independence of the Judiciary, because the Speaker has not, in the first place, pronounced himself, or, indeed, decided on the admissibility of the motion,” Sikatele stated.
She insisted that the motion was still being studied by Speaker Matibini to determine its admissibility.
“We wish to reiterate our position that the Motion is still being studied by the Speaker, and whether or not the matters therein are, inter alia, sub judice, will be decided by the Speakers in due course,” stated Sikatele.
“The Speaker could not have acted unreasonably, illegally or unprocedurally, as alleged by the Applicants, by purportedly tabling the Motion…the Speaker will make a decision on the admissibility of the motion in due course.”
On April 4, Judge Bobo Banda granted the applicants leave to apply for judicial review which is acting as a stay of the decision of the Speaker of the National Assembly to table the motion to impeach President Lungu.
The applicants argued that the impeachment motion dealt with grounds which were still determined in the courts of law and was therefore sub judice.
Movers of the motion; UPND Whip Gary Nkombo and Roan PF member of parliament have since applied to join the case.