THE Ministry of Finance has told the Constitutional Court that former cabinet and deputy ministers who received emoluments after the dissolution of Parliament in 2016 are supposed to pay back over K4 million.
Fides Kalangwa, a Director-Policy Research and Standards in the Office of the Accountant General at the Ministry of Finance has told the court that the total amount recoverable from the former Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers for the period May to July, 2016 is K4,778, 664.10.
The State, through the Attorney General’s chambers, had in this matter asked the ConCourt to assess the amount of money that the former ministers were required to pay back.
According to a further affidavit in support of assessment of amount due pursuant to the judgement dated August 8, 2016 filed in court, Thursday, Kalangwa stated that the emoluments paid to the former ministers had been duly computed by her office for the period May to July 2016.
She added that as could be seen from the said computation, the total amount recoverable from the former Cabinet Ministers and former Deputy Ministers for the period May to July, 2016 was in the sum of K4,778,664.10.
Kalangwa stated that the said computation was arrived at after looking at the pay slips of the former Cabinet Ministers and former Deputy Ministers.
In November 2019, the State through Principal State Advocate in the Attorney General’s chambers, Francis Mwale, filed an affidavit in support of assessment of amount due and asked the court to compel the registrar of the Constitutional Court to assess the amount of money that Ministers were required to pay back as directed by the court.
Mwale stated that the State encountered challenges in addressing the recovery of emoluments or considering the question of indemnity being the exact salaries, allowances and per diems to be recovered as they had not agreed to by the parties.
“In its Judgment dated August 8, 2016, this Honourable Court stated at page J83 as follows: ‘The emoluments paid to the second to the 64th respondents from the May 12, 2016 to date are to be agreed by the petitioners and the respondent. In default of such agreement, the matter shall be referred by either party for assessment by the Registrar of the Constitutional Court’,” he stated.
Mwale stated that on October 28, 2019 lawyers representing the minsters wrote to the Attorney General requesting that government indemnifies their clients of the liability as directed by the court.
He stated that on November 6, 2019, National Chairperson, Women Affairs of UPND wrote a letter to the Secretary to the Cabinet urging Cabinet to immediately put in place mechanisms to deduct from Ministers salaries as directed by the Court.
“That the State seeks to give effect to this Honourable Court’s Judgment but has challenges in both addressing the recovery of emoluments and or considering the question of indemnity as the exact emoluments (salaries, allowances and per diems) to be recovered have not been agreed by the parties hereto, three years after Judgment. The first Respondent (Attorney General) is desirous that the Honourable Registrar of this honourable Court assesses the monies payable by the subject Ministers as directed by this court,” stated Mwale.