THE State has asked the Lusaka High Court to dismiss the judicial review proceedings by former senior assistant Intelligence Officer in the Office of the President at KKIA, Bangladesh Mombelela, in which she is challenging her dismissal from the service.
However, Mombelela has argued that the application by the State to dismiss the judicial review proceedings has no merit and should be thrown out by the Court.
On September 21, last year, the Lusaka High Court granted Mombelela leave to commence 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.
Earlier last year, Mombelela sought leave to commence judicial review against the said decision of the Office of the President Director General, Special Division.
She cited the Attorney General as respondent in the matter.
But the State has now asked the Court to dismiss the judicial review proceedings.
According to an affidavit in support of summons to dismiss judicial review proceedings filed in the Lusaka High Court, Josiah Simachela, a Chief State Advocate in the Attorney General’s Chambers stated that a search conducted on November 16, 2020, revealed that Mombelela had not filed into court the mandatory Notice of Motion within 14 days of the ruling of the Court.
But Mombelela has opposed the said application to dismiss the judicial review proceedings.
According to an affidavit in opposition to the affidavit in support of summons to dismiss judicial review proceedings, Mombelela’s lawyer Michelle Ellis stated that the notice of motion was not filed within 14 days from the date of the ruling as Mombelela had been out of jurisdiction.
She added that Mombelela could not travel back due to COVID-19 restrictions and could not, therefore, give instructions.
Ellis stated that the delay by Mombelela to file the Notice of Motion had not in any way prejudiced the Attorney General.
“The respondent should have made its application to dismiss the judicial review proceedings inter-parte within 10 days after leave for judicial review was granted. That this application has no merit and should be dismissed by this honourable court,” she stated.
Mombelela had earlier last year 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. 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.
She stated that the said decision to terminate her employment was illegal, irrational and procedurally improper.
Mombelela now wants a stay of execution of the decisions of the Director General Office of the President, costs and any other reliefs the court may deem fit, among others.