THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has stated that the 2020 elections can be conducted since the ex parte order which stayed the polls was suspended in a ruling made on April 20, 2020.

And FAZ says demands made by soccer administrators Damiano Mutale and Patson Lusaka to be awarded K5 million costs in interlocutory proceeding are misguided and untenable.

FAZ, represented by PNP Advocates, was responding to a letter where Mutale and Lusaka, represented by Lewis Nathan Advocates, had demanded that the association award the duo taxable costs of up to K5 million within seven days without fail.

In response, FAZ stated that the ruling made by the Ndola High Court to stay proceedings pending a determination by the Constitutional Court on preliminary issues raised by Mutale and Lusaka implied that the ex parte order that stayed the elections had been suspended.

“We refer to the captioned matter and to your letter of demand for costs of even date. Your demand for costs is misguided and untenable for the following reasons; 1. It is trite law that costs awarded in interlocutory proceedings are only taxed and payable at the end of the main proceedings unless where the Court orders that such costs be paid forthwith. There being no such order by the Court, your clients can only demand for costs at the end of the main proceedings in the unlikely event that they succeed and are awarded costs. This is too trite as to require further elaboration to Counsel,” FAZ’s lawyers stated. “The rationale for this rule of procedure is a matter of common sense especially in cases, such as this one, where the party demanding costs of a day’s proceedings has no capacity of paying back the costs should the order be reversed on appeal or should they not succeed in the main matter and be required to pay costs of the entire proceedings at the conclusion of the matter; 2. By its ruling dated 20 April 2020, the High Court ordered that proceedings in the High Court be stayed pending determination of the appeal by your clients to the Constitutional Court.”

The lawyers stated that the implication of the stay of proceedings was that the proceedings in the High Court had been suspended and execution of any orders, including the order as to costs, had equally been suspended.

“Similarly, the order to stay FAZ Elections and AGM has been suspended until the determination of your clients’ appeal by the Constitutional Court. Any rights or advantages obtained by your clients in the proceedings in the High Court in this matter have been suspended pending appeal. Should you have a different interpretation of the Court’s ruling from ours, you are at liberty to make an application for the interpretation of the same. As a consequence of the order staying proceedings, your clients’ costs cannot be taxed at this stage…In any event, a claim of K5,000,000.00 as costs for a day’s attendance is frivolous and vexatious to say the least.”