FORMER Works and Supply minister Yamfwa Mukanga says he is seeking permission from the Constitutional Court to allow him pay in installments the salary he illegally acquired during his stay as Minister after Parliament was dissolved in 2016.
The Constitutional Court on 7th December gave former Cabinet ministers, their deputies and provincial ministers 30 days to pay back over K4.2 million which they illegally acquired as Ministers after Parliament was dissolved in 2016.
The Ministers are expected to make full payments by January 7, 2021.
In an interview, Mukanga, who owes K58 681.80, said paying a lump sum would make his family suffer.
“Yes, we are trying to find money to pay, we agree that no one is above the law and we are trying to negotiate so that they give us permission to pay in installments because definitely if I pay the whole sum of that money, if I try to look at that amount of money, I pay the lump sum my family is going to suffer. That is what we are asking for, we are paying, at least our friends are paying and we will pay, all of us will pay. So no one should think we are adamant, we are not above the law, we will be able to pay and agree with the law. If the law says turn left, we will turn left and we are going to do that. But we are asking for time,” said Mukanga.
And Justice Minister Given Lubinda could not give a clear indication on whether or not the ConCourt had granted him permission to pay in installments.
When asked if he had made any payments, Lubinda said that information was between him and the courts.
“I am sure that when they do that, when the lawyers file in, you will be able to pick up from the courts, you will be able to pick up from the courts, you don’t need to ask me that. That is between me and the one I should pay [to]. It is not me and News Diggers! If you want that information go to the one I am paying [to],” said Lubinda.
On December 8, Lubinda told journalists that his family would starve if he was made to pay the money he owed the state within 30 days.
“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. 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,” complained Lubinda.