JUSTICE Minister Given Lubinda says he is considering asking the Constitutional Court to allow him more time to pay back the K56,226.92 he received after the dissolution of Parliament in 2016 because his family can starve if he’s forced to clear it within two months.
On Monday, the ConCourt ruled that the 63 former cabinet ministers and deputies who received emoluments after their dissolution of Parliament in 2016 should pay back over K54,000 each to the State within 30 days.
But speaking to journalists in Lusaka, Tuesday, Lubinda lamented that 30 days was too little to offset the debt because what he owed was far beyond his monthly earning.
“Well, all of us, or let me say the majority of us who are involved in the matter decided to give up the legal battle when we asked our lawyers to ask the government to ask the Attorney General to make their assessment and tell us how much we are owing. Then now that we have been told the figure, obviously, we are obliged to pay, except, speaking for myself, I don’t know how I will manage to raise all that money within 30 days. That is far beyond my monthly earning,” Lubinda complained.
Lubinda said even if he was to pay back the whole amount within two months, his family would starve.
“There is no way that I can raise that kind of money within 30 days except for me going to borrow at high interest rate. So, from my person prospective, I am still reflecting upon making an application to the court to extend the period in which I can pay this money because I don’t think it is the intention of the court to starve me and my family for the next two months. I am sure the courts would like us to pay without unnecessary stress and push. So, I am still reflecting upon and I think in a few days time, I will decide on how to handle the matter,” he said.
And Lubinda assured the court that he would certainly pay as a law abiding citizen.
“I certainly shall pay as the law abiding citizen. I shall pay,” said Lubinda.