The Constitutional Court has reserved ruling on whether or not its final decision in a matter can be reopened without seeking its permission in writing.
This is in a matter the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), as the third petitioner, filed a preliminary issue to discontinue a motion by PF Secretary General, Davies Mwila asking the Court to set aside or reverse its own decision that Ministers who remained in office after the dissolution of parliament should pay back the money they received.
In its preliminary issue, and relying on the skeleton arguments filed in Court, LAZ has argued that the respondents who are Mr. Mwila and the 64 others did not seek permission of the Constitutional Court when they filed a notice of motion and an affidavit asking the Court to reopen its final decision.
And when the matter came up, lawyer representing LAZ Jeffrey Chimankata argued that Order 1, rule 2 of the Constitutional Court does not provide for the reopening of the Court’s final decisions without prior permission in writing.
Mr. Chimankata contends that it is therefore mandatory that if the Court is to reopen its final decision in unique cases, the mover of the motion will have to first put it in writing.
In response counsel representing the respondents Chewe Bwalya argued that there are no requirements for moving a motion to cause the reopening of the final decision of the Constitutional Court.
Mr. Bwalya urged the Court to dismiss LAZ’s preliminary issue as the Court has jurisdiction to give direction where there is no precedence in practice and procedure.
Another lawyer representing the respondents Milingo Lungu urged the Court to evoke Article 118 of the Republican Constitution.
In reply, Mr. Chimankata contended that there is no rule that allows the Constitutional Court to derogate from its own rule.
Mr. Chimankata has insisted that the Court has its own mandate to follow.
Constitutional Court president Hilda Chibomba has since adjourned the matter to a date to be communicated to the parties.