The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has lost the bid to have the Constitutional Court order Justice Minister Given Lubinda and Attorney General Likando Kaluluka to appear as their witnesses.
LAZ wanted Lubinda and Kalaluka to produce unspecified reports, research materials, memoranda, write up or data or any other material generated before the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 for purposes of helping LAZ to argue its case against the enactment of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10.
Delivering the ruling on behalf of the full bench this morning on the application by the Attorney General to set-aside the summons ordering Lubinda and Kalaluka to appear and give testimony on behalf of LAZ, Constitutional Court Judge Musaluke agreed with the Attorney General that LAZ was, by the rules of the Constitutional Court, required to obtain leave before they could issue summons to compel possible witnesses appear before the Court.
The Court referred to its past decision in which summons issued to witnesses by former Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito were set aside for irregularity as they were issued contrary to the Order 38 Rule 19 Sub Rule 3 of the Supreme Court (England), applicable to Zambia, which state that “before a subpoena can issue for attendance in the Court of Appeal, leave must be obtained from that Court by motion or notice, after which a subpoena will issue from the Central Office.”
Justice Masuke said the Court has found LAZ did not obtain any such leave from the Court to issue the summons to both Justice Minister Lubinda and Attorney General Likanda Kalaluka. The setting aside of the summons mean LAZ will have to find other means of getting the unspecified materials it needs to argue and win the case.
This afternoon, the Court is set to rule on the appeal by LAZ against the refusal by a single judge to grant an injunction against the State which would prevent Parliament from proceeding to debate the Bill. Legal experts say the granting of an injunction against Parliament will set a dangerous precedent in which the public will be stop Parliament from debating Bills using the Judiciary.