THE 43 former cabinet ministers and their deputies who had asked the Constitutional Court to allow them to pay back the money they were supposed to refund the State in monthly instalments, have withdrawn the application.

The 43 withdrew the application before the ConCourt yesterday through their lawyer, on grounds that they had paid back all the money they owed the State.

On January 5, this year, Justice Minister Given Lubinda and 42 others asked the court to allow them to pay back the money in monthly installments of K10,000 for those serving as ministers and MPs, and K5,000 for those who have retired.

The 43 lamented that they were unable to settle the assessed amounts in a lump sum due to a variety of factors and wanted to pay the debt in monthly installments.

They added that they had family and other financial commitments.

However, when the matter came up yesterday before ConCourt Registrar Dorcas Malama for hearing of the application to settle the arrears in installments, a lawyer representing the 43, Mutale Mukuka, informed the court that as had been widely reported, the money owed by the 43 had been paid.

She added that in the circumstances, the application had been withdrawn.

Mukuka, from Ellis & Company, said they would therefore not be proceeding with the application and further prayed for leave to withdraw it.

ConCourt Registrar Malama allowed the 43 to withdraw the application.

“Upon hearing the applicants in this matter to withdraw the settlement of assessed amounts in installments, it is hereby ordered that leave to withdraw the application is granted. Each party shall bear their own costs,” she said.

On December 7, 2020, the Constitutional Court ruled that the 63 former cabinet ministers and their deputies who received emoluments after the dissolution of Parliament in 2016 should pay back over K54,000 each to the State within 30 days.

Constitutional Court registrar Dorcas Malama said in a ruling that the assessed amounts ranging from K54,889 to K61,756 individually, should be paid within 30 days from the date of the ruling.

But 30 days later, on January 5, this year, 43 of the 63 former cabinet ministers and their deputies asked the ConCourt to allow them to pay back the money in monthly installments.

However, PF secretary Davies Mwila recently disclosed that the indebted former ministers had their entire K4.7 million bill paid by well-wishers.

He could not, however, reveal the identity of those who paid the K4.7 million on behalf of ex-ministers.

Last week, Accountant General Kennedy Musonda issued a statement to the effect that 99 percent of the debt for ex-ministers who illegally stayed in office after the dissolution of parliament in 2016 had been recovered.

And in an interview, Musonda said he doesn’t know who paid the debt because the deposit slip only indicates “donor”.

He added that he was waiting for the donor to come and reveal which ministers were paid for.