ZAMBIA Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD) director general Julien Mwape has sued the state seeking an order to quash the Minister of Community Development and Social Services’ decision to suspend her from employment.

Mwape has wondered why the Minister was the one to suspend her without any hearing or a meeting convened by the board to that effect.

According to an affidavit in support of ex parte summons for leave to apply for judicial review, Mwape stated that she was employed by the ZAPD board on March 13, 2018 as acting director general of the organization.

She stated that she was of the belief that she performed her duties diligently as governed by the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities Act No.6 of 2012 and verily adhered to the disciplinary code of conduct.

Mwape stated that on October 4, 2021, she received a letter from the Minister of Community Development and Social Services purporting to suspend her from employment.

She stated that she was allegedly charged with offences inter alia of having authorized the harvesting and selling of timber from cottage farmland belonging to ZAPD in Luapula province, on the pretext of clearing the land for agricultural purposes for income raising meant for empowerment, in respect of persons with Disabilities.

Mwape stated that prior to her purported suspension, no meeting was convened by the board of the ZAPD and as a result there was no resolution made to that effect, neither was there a hearing concerning the same.

“That the supervising officer being the board did not charge me neither has there been a disciplinary hearing against myself as required by the disciplinary code of ZAPD,” she stated.

Mwape said she was of the belief that the power and authority to suspend an employee like herself was solely vested in the board and the minister only approves the decisions of the board.

She further stated that the minister acted in excess of her jurisdiction by making the purported decision, as such it is illegal and void ab initio.

Mwape stated that she believes the decision to suspend her from employment was characterized by mala fide as she was not accorded a hearing and the same was actuated by malicious suspicions.

She is therefore seeking an order of certiorari for the purpose of quashing the decision of the minister, an order for costs and that all necessary and consequential directions be given.