The Lusaka High Court has dismissed a restraining order it granted to RAE Zambia Limited preventing Tullow Zambia from conducting oil exploration works.
According to a new court order obtained by Attorney General Likando Kalaluka, the injunction has been withdrawn.
“Upon hearing Counsel for the Respondent and upon reading the affidavit of Francis Kondwelani Mwale filed into court in support of the application, it is hereby ordered and directed that the ex-parte order of interim injunction granted to the appellant herein on 8th August, 2017 be and is hereby discharged. Costs for this application are for the respondent,” read the court order.
According to an earlier ex-parte court order seen, the inter partes hearing was set for August 25.
“It is hereby ordered that Tullow Zambia BV by itself, servants, employee, agents, contractors or workmen, subsidiary or associated entity or otherwise is hereby strictly enjoined and restrained from undertaking or engaging in any petroleum exploration activities of whatever nature and description with respect to the area particularly and known as block 31 located in the Northern Province in the republic of Zambia,” read the court order, stamped August 8, 2017 and signed on August 10, 2017.
“Tullow Zambia BV is restrained from interfering with the appellant’s right to enjoy the benefits conferred on it under the Petroleum Exploration Licence number PEL/007 pursuant to the provisions of section 13 of the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act No. 10 of 2008; and that Tullow Zambia BV complies with this order forthwith. It is further ordered that this matter is heard inter-partes on the 25th day of August 2017 at 09:00 hours.”
It has emerged that President Edgar Lungu launched the Tullow Zambia Block 31 Oil and Gas Exploration in Kasama, against a court order restraining the UK firm from doing so.
State House Spokesman Amos Chanda explained that there was something strange about the injunction, as neither the Attorney General nor State House were served with the court order before the launch was carried out.
“The Attorney General has not been served with this order neither has Tullow [Zambia BV]. Tullow was informed by phone after the launch that a court order had been issue on 11 TH August,” said Mr. Chanda.
“In any event the restraining order is against Tullow but served on AG who has nothing to do with exploration work! This one is a classic case of something fish, anyway we wait until 25. Under the State Proceedings Act the state can never be restrained from carrying out executive functions later on (sic) the president. In this case that order was not served on anyone before the launch.”