LUSAKA High Court judge Sharon Newa has set July 14 for hearing of the matter in which Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Jack Mwiimbu is challenging Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini’s decision to allow continued debate of Bill 10 despite it lasping.

In this matter, Mwiimbu has applied for leave in the Lusaka High Court to commence judicial review proceedings against Dr Matibini’s decision to allow the restoration to the order paper for consideration of Constitutional (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019, consequently to allow its continued debate and allow the deferment of proceedings relating to the Bill to a yet to be advised date.

Mwiimbu who is represented by Lusaka lawyer Mulambo Haimbe of Malambo & Company has cited Attorney General Likando Kalaluka as a respondent, arguing that since the lapse of time, the Bill ceased to exist.

He wants an order of certiorari to quash Dr Matibini’s decision to allow the deferment of the proceedings relating to the controversial (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019 to a date yet to be advised within the fourth session of twelfth assembly.

Mwiimbu is further seeking an order of mandamus directing the Speaker to discontinue any or further consideration, debate or other proceedings relating to Bill No. 10.

He also wants a declaration that Dr Matibini’s decision is invalid, null and void and of no effect and an order that all proceedings in the National Assembly relating to Bill 10 be stayed until after the determination of the matter or further order of the court.

“In a press statement issued by the government chief whip on June 25, 2020 and published on the Parliament website, it is conceded by the author that the Bill lapsed on June 4, 2020 according to established parliamentary practice and procedure. Contrary to what is stated in the press statement, the standing orders committee did not extend the life of the Bill, which had already lapsed by effluxion of time and had been killed on June 4, before proceedings on June 24,” Mwimbu stated in his petition.

He added that according to parliamentary practice and processes, there was no procedure that allowed for restoration to order paper, consideration, debate or extension of the Bill after it has been “killed” due to lapse of time and after such lapse the Bill ceases to exist.