THE Lusaka High Court has granted former senior assistant Intelligence Officer in the Office of the President at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Bangladesh Mombelela, leave to apply for Judicial Review against the decision of the Office of the President Director General Special Division to terminate her employment without following procedure.
Lusaka High Court judge Wilfred Muma noted that Mombelela was dismissed from service without following proper procedure and without compliance to the rules of natural justice.
He added that in view of the same, this was a proper case that implores further investigation.
“Judicial Review is concerned with the decision making process of a public authority. Its purpose is to ensure that an individual is given fair treatment by the authority to which he/she has been subjected. A determination must be made to establish whether the public authority acted legally in arriving at their decision to dismiss the applicant. This was expounded upon in the case of Nyampala Safaris (Z) Limited and others,” he said in his ruling dated September 21, 2020.
“In the present case, the applicant (Mombelela) was dismissed from service without following proper procedure and without compliance to the rules of natural justice. In view of the same, this is a proper case that implores further investigation. I am therefore granting the applicant leave to file for judicial review. Costs are in the cause.”
Earlier this year, Mombelela sought leave to apply for Judicial Review against the decision of the Office of the President Director General Special Division to terminate her employment without following procedure.
The said leave has now been granted.
She cited the Attorney General as respondent in the matter.
In her affidavit in support of ex-parte summons for an order for leave to move for judicial review filed in the Lusaka High Court earlier this year, Mombelela stated that on July 4, 2019, she received a note from the officer in charge, Office of the President (SD) at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA), indicating commencement of disciplinary measures against her for alleged misconduct during duty on June 17, 2019.
She stated that she wrote an exculpatory letter on July 5, 2019 to the officer in charge and a report of what transpired when she was on duty on the material day.
Mombelela, however, stated that she was, on July 8, 2019, suspended from duty without any response to her letter of July 5, 2019.
“On August 2, 2019, the officer in charge of the Office of the President (SD) at KKIA by a letter, rejected my exculpatory letter. On September 3, 2019, I received a letter from the Director General Office of the President, Special Division dismissing me from the service without being heard by any disciplinary body in the service,” she stated.
Mombelela stated that on September 11, 2019, she appealed to the Appeals Tribunal of the Office of the President special division against her dismissal from the service but her appeal was rejected on October 14, without being heard by the Tribunal.
“I verily believe that this is a case fit for further investigation and merits the Court’s further consideration, and therefore, this my application for an order for leave to move for judicial review, which I believe that if the leave sought is so granted, this will not prejudice any other parties or process in any way but conversely, it will serve the interests of justice,” she stated.
Mombelela also stated in a notice containing a statement in support of an ex-parte application for an order for leave to move for judicial review, that she had her employment terminated for alleged misconduct without hearing or being subjected to due process.
She stated that the said decision to terminate her employment was illegal, irrational and procedurally improper.
Mombelela now wants, among others, a stay of execution of the decision of the Director General Office of the President, costs and any other reliefs the court may deem fit.