The Attorney General has argued before the Constitutional Court that former Post Newspaper proprietor Dr Fred M’membe’s motion for the court to interpret or review costs he was ordered to pay, is nothing but an attempt to reopen or revisit the final judgement of the court.
The Attorney General has therefore asked the court to dismiss Dr M’membe’s motion to interpret or review the costs order.
In this matter, Dr M’membe was challenging the Kitwe High Court’s decision to quash the Judicial Complaint Commission’s (JCC) ruling which found High Court judge Sunday Nkonde, the first respondent in this case, with a prima facie case for professional misconduct.
Dr M’membe had petitioned Justice Nkonde and the Attorney General seeking a declaration that the proceedings 2017/HK/771 before the Kitwe High Court (the winding up of the newspaper) were a nullity on account of want of jurisdiction and that the consent judgment entered in that case was null and void.
But Constitutional Court judge Martin Musaluke dismissed Dr M’membe’s petition for lack of merit and ordered him to pay costs.
Dr M’membe has however, sought a review or interpretation of the same in the Constitutional Court.
But Attorney General Likando Kalaluka has argued that an attempt by Dr M’membe to move the court to review or interpret the costs order, was nothing but an attempt to reopen or revisit the final judgement of the Constitutional Court.
He stated that the Constitutional Court was functus officio regarding the judgment of December 11, 2018 and further submitted that it was indisputable that judgments of the Constitutional Court were final.
“The petitioner (Dr M’membe), in his motion to review costs, wants to persuade the court to overturn its final decision by reviewing the merits upon which the costs were awarded by the court. The petitioner also wants to convince the court that his petition raised novel issues in which costs are not ordinary awarded. We contend that an attempt by the petitioner to move the court to review /interpret or amend the costs order in judgment of December 11,2018 is nothing but an attempt to reopen or revisit the final judgement of the Constitutional Court,” Kalaluka argued.
“This is because the said application seeks to review the merits upon which the court awarded costs, with a view to overturn the court’s position.”
He submitted that Dr M’membe’s motion to interpret or review costs was incompetently before court and should be dismissed.
Meanwhile, Post Newspaper Limited’s lawyer Paul Chola, an associate advocate of Lewis Nathan Advocates seized with care and conduct of the case, has also argued that Dr M’membe had not exhibited any new evidence which can warrant the court to review the judgment passed in the matter.
He stated that he had read the judgment and had seen no reason why the court should interpret such judgment as it was plain and clear.