NAREP president Elias Chipimo says Patriotic Front Secretary General Davies Mwila is attempting to undermine the Constitutional Court by asking the judges to reverse parts of the judgment that ordered ministers to pay back the salaries.
In a notice of motion, Mwila had asked the Constitutional Court to set aside or reverse parts of the judgment that ordered ministers to pay back the salaries they got after Parliament was dissolved in 2016.
Mwila said this is because the decision by the court was improper, oppressive, unjust and contradicted the national values of human dignity and equality.
He argued that the state benefited from the services that the respondents had rendered when they remained in office after the dissolution of parliament.
But Chipimo said, Thursday, that the judgment was not a party matter for Mwila to represent minister.
“As NAREP, we are deeply concerned about this development in which the Patriotic Front secretary general is attempting to bring a case into the Constitutional Court in respect of the decision by that court to require all the cabinet members who were saving to repay the money that was paid to them. Now, this is a concern for many reasons. Number one, it is not the secretary general or the party that appointed these individuals. This is not a party matter. It is actually a national issue and the appointment being by the President was for these individuals to serve in their official capacity as ministers. And so, they should individually take up this matter. They are the ones who are affected. It’s not the party that is affected. Unless the secretary general is telling us that its the party which is benefiting from these individuals working for cabinet where they are appointed to serve the nation,” Chipimo said.
“The second concern we have is that it is undermining the distinction between the party and the government. And by the PF allowing the secretary general to make this application on behalf of the party which really should be an application which should be made by individuals themselves, it makes us wonder now who is really in control. Because when these individuals are appointed as ministers they are appointed to serve as individuals, it doesn’t matter which party they come from. And that is how you can even have members of other parties saving in cabinet. They are loyal to the country and not to the party. And this confusion of this distinction makes us very concerned that somehow the party is seeking to benefit directly from the appointment of these ministers into cabinet.”
Chipimo said Mwila was undermining the Constitutional court.
“The third point is that we have a situation here where the Constitutional Court is being undermined or is attempting to be undermined by Mr Davis Mwila. We have to ask a question ‘have these people not eaten enough?’ Do they now want to be taxing us until we can no longer afford to pay anything? They want to continue to allow institution to impose all sorts of charges on us and then when they are asked to repay tax payers money that was spend illegally to them, we must now accept such a request for them to be exonerated or let off?” questioned Chipimo.
“They must uphold the Constitution. And it’s a wrong attempt to go back to the Constitutional court when it already made the decision. And the person who is going back is not the one who was originally given the ruling. If there is an issue involving that ruling, it should be the individuals themselves who should take up this matter. If they want to get funding from the party they can get from the party but it shouldn’t be secretary general of that party speaking on their behalf. Because there should be a clear separation between the party and government’s responsibilities.”