The Centre for Trade and Policy Development (CTPD) hereby provides its reflections on
the events that have unfolded in relation to the repayment of emoluments enjoyed by
Ministers in the run up to the 2016 General Elections. The Constitution of Zambia
stipulates through Article 81 that Parliament be dissolved ninety (90) days before the
next General Election. Upon dissolution of Parliament every Member of Parliament
except for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker is required to vacate his or her seat in the
The Constitutional Court ruled on August 10, 2019 that the salaries drawn by the
ministers during the material time were in fact illegally drawn and ordered that the
monies be paid back.
To date (3 years) since the Constitutional Court ruling, the monies have not been paid
back, with the Minister of Justice, Given Lubinda stating on record that he would not
pay back the money as he had not worked for free.
The concerns that CTPD has are several in this regard: CTPD Executive Director Isaac Mwaipopo noted that the rule of law is undermined if court orders are disregarded, especially by those in the highest echelons of Public Service the Judiciary is a vital branch of government in order to ensure checks and balances.
‘’The refusal by the Ministers to pay back the monies undermines the role of the
Judiciary, its effectiveness and ultimately renders our courts and legal processes as
academic,’’ Mr. Mwaipopo said.
Mr. Mwaipopo stressed that there is no appeal process in respect of constitutional
matters once the Constitutional provisions has made a ruling.
He said CTPD therefore seeks clarity from Government as to the basis of the refusal by
the ministers to pay back the salaries they drew while Parliament was dissolved.
Mr. Mwaipopo added that the payment of salaries to Ministers whilst they illegally
remained in office draws on the larger issue of the manner in which public funds are
managed at a time when there are increasing calls for transparency and accountability
‘’a more pressing issue is that there appears to be no end in sight in as far as the
constitutional crisis that the country has had since the end of the One-party State. There
have to date been no less than five (5) constitutional building processes which is
indicative of the fact the Constitution in its current form does not entirely represent or
address the needs and will of the people’’ , He said.
Mr. Mwaipopo said the lack of a durable Constitution means that the supreme law of the
land is subject to the policies and desires of the government of the day.
He lamented that this has a ripple effect on all sectors and has an impact on the socio-
economic development of the country.
‘’ It is, in particular, a deterrent for investors who rely heavily on a sound and
predictable legal system in order to protect their assets and investments’’, Mr.
He said CTPD urges: Government and stakeholders to resume much needed dialogue on
the Constitution and map a way forward particularly.