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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, June 3, 2020

RB and State agree to withdraw Immunity Case from Supreme Court

General News RB and State agree to withdraw Immunity Case from Supreme Court

Former president Rupiah Banda
Former president Rupiah Banda

THE Supreme Court has ordered the withdrawal of the matter in which the State had appealed against the ruling by the Lusaka High Court to grant former President Rupiah Banda judicial review in his immunity case.

The judicial review was granted to Mr Banda who was seeking the court’s interpretation on the removal of his immunity from prosecution.

This follows a consent order entered in the Supreme Court by the State and Mr Banda’s lawyers to have ?the matter withdrawn.

“By consent of both parties, each through their respective counsel, it is ordered that this appeal be and is hereby withdrawn,” read the consent order signed by deputy chief justice Mervin Mwanamwambwa, Justice Hildah Chibomba and Justice Gregory Phiri.

While the State had appealed, Mr Banda had also filed a cross appeal challenging Lusaka High Judge, Annie Sitali’s decision not to allow the judicial review she granted him to operate as a stay of the National Assembly’s decision to strip him of his immunity.

Justice Sitali granted Mr Banda a judicial review which however, did not stop the removal of former president’s immunity.

Mr Banda asked the court to rule that the executive could not lay before the National Assembly and debate grounds or charges for lifting his immunity without giving him an opportunity to be heard.

The attorney generals chambers appealed to the Supreme Court against Justice Sitali’s decision to grant Mr Banda judicial review to start proceedings to challenge the removal of his immunity.

Mr Banda filed a cross appeal because he was not happy with the decision by Justice Sitali for the judicial review not to operate as a stay.

But the State in its response to Mr Banda’s cross appeal argued that Justice Sitali did not err in her ruling as regards the non-grant of a stay in the matter.

It argued that it was misleading to argue that an order of stay in judicial review proceedings was ancillary to the order granting leave to move for judicial review.

A panel of three Supreme Court judges was scheduled to hear the matter in October this year.

However, the State and Mr Banda s lawyers on Thursday entered a consent order to withdraw the matter.

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  1. This issue is now in the law text books; it is now an academic exercise because what had to be done was done in the face of all these legal arguments. The PF majority Parliament went ahead and did as it pleased in spite of these issues pending court clearance. RB’s immunity was lifted, he was charged, taken to court and discharged. Let us move on.

  2. Born Free, NO the immunity is not re-instated as that would be very difficult as immunity is only for the presidency. Once removed it is like virginity you can’t have it again!

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