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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Attorney-General Should stop Undermining the Constitutional Court

Headlines The Attorney-General Should stop Undermining the Constitutional Court

Attorney General Likando Kalaluka
Attorney General Likando Kalaluka

By Peter Sinkamba

The Constitutional Court has already ruled that Attorney-General, being the chief legal adviser to the Government should only represent the Government in civil proceedings to which Government is a party.

Government is not a party to the case of former ministers who illegally overstayed in office after Parliament was dissolved in 2016. The Constitutional Court was loud and clear on this point two years ago when on 17 November, 2017, it made a ruling stating that the Attorney General had no locus standi to represent former ministers.

Reading the unanimous Ruling of the Full Bench of ConCourt judges, Judge Margaret Munalula unambiguously stated that the Attorney General Likando Kalaluka had no locus standi to challenge the decision of the Court. She further stated explicitly that the Attorney General should not appoint himself lawyer for the former ministers.

This ruling was made following a petition by the Attorney General which he filed in the Constitutional Court in October 2017 asking the Court to reopen the case of former ministers so that the Court could review its Judgment. The Attorney General had argued that it was an injustice akin to slavery to order former ministers to repay salaries and allowances after they worked and earned the money.

Despite the ConCourt directing him not to appoint himself lawyer for the former ministers, the Attorney General has once again appointed himself lawyer representing the former ministers in the same case. This time, he has made an application to the Registrar of the ConCourt to assess the monies payable by former ministers.

One wonders in what capacity the Attorney General has made the application when in 2017 the Court ruled that he lacks locus standi in this matter.

In our view as the Green Party, the gymnastics by the Attorney General are not only intended to delay the wheels of justice but also tantamount to contempt of the Constitutional Court. We think that he is actually undermining the Court. We urge him should stop this disrespectful conduct forthwith. We humbly ask him to let LAZ, UPND, and individual former ministers to sort out this mess themselves. The Court was very clear on what must be paid back. The Court stated that the former ministers should pay back “emoluments” received between 12 May 2016 and 10 August 2016.

Emoluments are emoluments as defined in Article 266 of the Constitution of Zambia Amendment 2016 as follows: “emoluments” include salaries, allowances, benefits and rights that form an individual’s remuneration for services rendered, including pension benefits or other benefits on retirement.” Seeking an interpretation of the meaning of emoluments as defined by the Constitution, is certainly a waste of court’s time.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Indeed. The Attorney General should not bring up vexatious applications. The emoluments for MPs and Ministers are approved by parliament and for that reason, parliament has data on basic salaries while permanent secretaries have files for each and every former Ministers which contain data on all other expenses. Former Ministers themselves have pay slips. So if former Ministers are honest men and women of integrity, the starting point is for each one of them to pay into court the basic salaries while waiting for permanent secretaries sum up other emoluments.

    • The ConCourt ruling was an injustice in itself as it failed to recognize the conflict in the law. It should have pronounced itself on this rendering one part of the law (I.e article 116) ineffective, without ascribing fault to the obedient Ministers.
      As they served under some legal conflict, but immediately left office after the ruling, only amounts earned after the ruling should have been payable.
      Some of the earnings and benefits are impossible to repay as they accrue by virtue of the position e.g. status and respect accrued by virtue of the position such as govt accommodation, civil service privileges, signing of agreements on behalf of govt etc. These are restitution impossible, hence the need for clarity in what is to be Repaid.
      As earlier pointed out, they did not refuse to…

    • Cont’d

      As earlier pointed out, they did not refuse to leave, but we’re asked to stay on by the President based on article 116. He acted at the behest of the law, but the court ruled that the article he stood on was ineffective. He can’t be sued, so why penalize those who swore to respect the Constitution and the Presidency? If they had refused, they would have breached their oath. Either way, they would have breached the law, hence they need to be excused as first and unwilling offenders. Case closed

  2. “…….made a ruling stating that the Attorney General had no locus standi to represent former ministers….”

    What do you expect from a fraud convict lawyer come president ????

    Everything under lungu is corrupted and rotten.

  3. So Attorney General, have you not got work to do in those governments offices as opposed to misleading yourself on your importance?
    No Locus standi on this matter was not so clear from sound of things..
    It is precisely this that makes sad reading of current affairs of my beloved country mother Zambia. Morals seriously lacking from political advisors to government representatives!

  4. Let them pay back. Look at lubimda and his group not ashamed. he is busy with useless bill 10 to retirees on pay roll but he is refusing a court rulling to pay bak stollen money. mean while lubinda those retirees at your will have you punished by GOD. You Listen to their cries and prayers. You, ecl and finance minister pay all retirees or else you are doomed. if you wont pay retirees you wont win in 2021 because you cheated us for u to be in of office. only a person with two sence can support pf with pipo like Kaizer as adviser to ecl. if it was sata (mhsrip) this nonse was not going to be there. dollar is now at K15. Sata come bak and put ecl in forward gear and fire all the ministers and throw bill 10 in a pit latrin. ecl pay retirees today.

  5. Peter Ganjaman Sinkamba, the ConCourt is a young Court that lacks experience. The reason Likando Kalaluka has an interest is that the one person that caused this problem is Edgar Chagwa Lungu who has immunity. Edgar was in bleach of the Constitution. Suppose you employ people then the owner of the company decides that you didn’t have authority, whom do they penalize?

    • Ayatollah. Let me put it differently. Suppose on Edgar Lungu employed you to commit a felony and you did so. In the process of committing the felony you were arrested by the Police as the Police decide the President has no power to employ you to commit a felony, who will be penalized?

    • @At chaos, there’s a difference between a felony and a misdemeanor. A felony is a capital offence. The Ministers don’t appoint themselves, even in this case they didn’t retain themselves in office. Cabinet doesn’t dissolve itself, there’s only one person responsible. You’re trying to be simplistic.

  6. @Ayatola Hehehehehehe! Good question. Suppose one Edgar Lungu employed you to rape women, and you did believing, as President he has powers to employ you to do such, and in the process of ‘executing’ you job (rape) as delegated by the President you got caught up the Police, who will be penalized for rape, yourself or President Lungu?

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