SECRETARY to the Treasury Fredson Yamba has submitted to the Constitutional Court that the correct amount of repatriation allowances former Cabinet ministers and their deputies, who received emoluments after the dissolution of Parliament in 2016, are entitled to is K8,000 each and not the K15,000 they are claiming.
Yamba adds that his office has, therefore, re-calculated the summary for net pays and allowances to be recovered from the ministers taking into account the K8,000, which brings the total amount recoverable from them for the period May to July, 2016, to K4,266,664.10.
This is according to an affidavit in reply to the notice of non-objection to the quantum settled by the Attorney General.
“With regards to the issue of repatriation allowances, the correct figure to be paid to the former Cabinet ministers and former deputy ministers is K8,000 each. My office has, thus, duly re-computed the summary for net pays and allowances to be recovered from ministers taking into account the K8,000. As can be seen from the said re-computation, the total amount recoverable from the former Cabinet ministers and former deputy ministers for the period May to July, 2016, is in the sum of K4,266,664.10,” Yamba stated.
“With regards to the issue relating to the 31st respondent, Obius Chabu Chisala, I can confirm that he was paid his salary for the months of May, June and July, 2016.”
He further submitted Chishala’s pay slips for the period of May to July, 2016.
In July, this year, Fides Kalangwa, a Director-Policy Research and Standards in the Office of the Accountant General at the Ministry of Finance disclosed to the Court that the total amount recoverable from the former Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers for the period May to July, 2016 was K4,778,664.10.
And last month, the former ministers and their deputies did not object to the K4,778,664.10 quantified by the State as money they were required to repay.
They, however, told the Court that they were not paid their repatriation allowances amounting to K15,000 per person.
“Take notice that the respondents represented by Messrs Ellis and Co., Messrs D H Kemp and Co. and Messrs Lungu Simwanza and Company do not object to the quantum of emoluments as quantified by the first respondent (Attorney General). Save (i) that the said respondents were not paid their repatriation allowances in the sum of K15,000 per person; (ii) the 31st respondent, Obius Chabu Chisala, did not receive his June and July, 2016, emoluments as his contract of employment was terminated on June 8, 2016,” read the notice of non-objection to the quantum settled by the Attorney General.
In this matter, the State, through the Attorney General’s chambers, had asked the Constitutional Court to assess the amount of money that ministers, who continued to earn a salary after dissolution of Parliament in 2016, were required to repay.
This was as a result of the Constitutional Court judgement of August 8, 2016, which ordered Cabinet, provincial and deputy ministers to repay the State all the allowances and salaries they received while the National Assembly was dissolved.
The judgement was rendered in a matter where the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and UPND, through its secretary general Steven Katuka, challenged the continued stay in office of the ministers after Parliament was dissolved ahead of the 2016 general election.
Katuka and LAZ petitioned the Court to order the ministers who stayed in office after dissolution of Parliament to repay the funds they had received.
They cited the Attorney General, Ngosa Simbyakula and 63 others as respondents.