UPND has filed a notice of intention to raise preliminary issues in the Constitutional Court regarding PF general secretary Davies Mwilas’s application to set aside an order that cabinet ministers should pay back salaries and allowances they got while Parliament was dissolved in 2016.
And the UPND lawyers have asked the Constitutional Court to dismiss the motion with costs saying it is an abuse of court process.
Mwila had submitted before the Constitutional Court that the order that cabinet ministers pay back the salaries and allowances they got while Parliament was dissolved in 2016 was unjust and oppressive and would result in the respondents suffering injustice through no fault of their own.
When the matter came up for hearing of the application before ConCourt president judge Hildah Chibomba and judges Anne Sitali, Mungeni Mulenga, Palan Mulonda and Enock Mulembe, Tuesday, UPND lawyers Gilbert Phiri and Keith Mweemba said they intended to raise a preliminary issue regarding the the motion before court.
Asked why they had not filed in the notice on time, Phiri said they had attempted to file in late.
“We intend to raise preliminary issues regarding the motion before this court. Unfortunately, we were out of time at the point when we attempted to file the formal notice of motion to raise preliminary issues. We seek relief of this court to allow us to file a notice to raise preliminary issues. When we attempted to file last week we were told that we could not do so seven days before the hearings,” he said.
And Mweemba asked the court to allow them to file in their notice of intention.
Meanwhile, LAZ applied for an adjournment to allow them to file in a notice to raise preliminary issues as well as skeleton arguments.
“We have no objection to the application, we have a similar application to make. We found ourselves in a rather uncomfortable situation in the sense that we too have preliminaries that we intend to raise before this court. We are applying for an adjournment to allow us to file into court a notice to raise preliminary issues and skeleton arguments in support.
And passing judgement, Justice Chibomba granted both parties their applications and adjourned the matter to June 26 for hearing.
“We have considered the two applications. Mr Phiri’s application for leave to file a notice to raise preliminary issues is granted and then the application to adjourn is also granted. It is further ordered that the third petitioner (LAZ) shall file their notice to raise preliminary issues within seven days from today and then the respondents shall be at liberty to respond. This matter has been set for hearing on the 26th June, 2018,” said Justice Chibomba.
And in a notice of intention to raise preliminary issues filed in the Constitutional Court, Tuesday, UPND stated that the motion before court was an abuse of court process.
“The second petitioner intends to raise the following issues in limine; whether or not this motion is res judicata and an abuse of court process owing to the two decisions delivered by this court on June 20, 2016 and November, 2017 both in Steven Katuka and Law Association of Zambia Vs Ngosa Simbyakula and 63 others. Whether or not this motion should be dismissed with costs to the second petitioner for being an abuse of court process,” read the notice.
In this matter, UPND, through its secretary general Steven Katuka petitioned the Constitutional Court to order Dr Ngosa Simbyakula and 63 others to pay back all the money they got after Parliament was dissolved.
The Law Association of Zambia are the third petitioner in this matter while the Attorney General is one of the respondents.
The court, in its August 8, 2016 judgment ordered cabinet, provincial and deputy ministers to pay back to the State all the money they received.
Attorney General Likando Kalaluka then applied that the court sets aside part of the judgment but the Constitutional Court ruled that he had no right to represent private persons in the case of this nature.
This prompted Mwila to petition the ConCourt to set aside its ruling.