The Lusaka High Court has set April 16, next year, as date of hearing the main application for judicial review in a matter where Robert Chabinga and Henry Mulenga are challenging the Speaker’s decision to table in Parliament, the motion to impeach President Edgar Lungu.
In this matter, Chabinga and Mulenga as first and second applicants, respectively, have challenged Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini’s decision to entertain the impeachment motion, arguing that it was unreasonable, procedurally improper and illegal.
Chabinga and Mulenga cited the Attorney General as the respondent.
Recently, the Court of Appeal quashed the ruling of the Lusaka High Court, which refused to join Garry Nkombo and Chishimba Kambwili to the matter.
Court of Appeal Judge Fulgency Chisanga ordered that Nkombo, who is Mazabuka UPND member of parliament and Kambwili, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader, be joined to the Judicial review proceedings as parties that are properly interested in the same.
Earlier this year, the two applicants told the Court that parties in the case wanted to resolve the matter outside court.
Chabinga and Mulenga told Lusaka High Court Judge Annesie Banda-Bobo that they wished to seek an ex-curia settlement of the case.
But following the ruling of the Court of Appeal ordering the joinder of Nkombo and Kambwili as mover and seconder of the motion for impeachment, the applicants said the joinder of the two had brought in a new dimension to the case.
When the matter came up in chambers before Justice Banda-Bobo, recently, the two applicants, through their lawyer, said the parties were still finalizing the ex-curia settlement and that progress had been made.
They, however, added that the joinder of Kambwili and Nkombo had brought a new dimension to the matter.
“Our understanding is that the matter comes up for a status conference. The status is that the parties are still finalising the ex-curia settlement and progress has been made. The only hiccup has been that our client has been out of the country for some time now. As a result, we could not finalise on the draft consent sent to us as we had no instructions on how to proceed,” the applicants’ lawyer told the Court.
“Also, the joinder of the two respondents after the Court of Appeal ruling has brought in a new dimension to this matter. In light of the foregoing, we seek the Court’s indulgence to adjourn this matter to a date convenient to allow parties finalise with the ex-curia settlement and also deal with the new dimension by the fact of the joinder.”
Justice Banda-Bobo adjourned the matter to April 16, 2020, for hearing of the main application for judicial review.