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Alba Iulia
Thursday, April 2, 2020

The refusal by the Ministers to pay back the monies undermines the role of the Judiciary

Headlines The refusal by the Ministers to pay back the monies undermines the...

FILE: President Edgar Chagwa Lungu with Vice-President Inonge Wina, North Western Province minister, Justice minister Ngosa Simbyakula, Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda, Home affairs Davies Mwila, Tourism minister Jean Kapata , State House Special Assistant to the President for Political affairs Kaiza Zulu, Special Assistand for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda after the Swearing-in-Ceremony at State House on January 26,2015 -Picture by THOMAS NSAMA

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
National Assembly.

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
by government.

‘’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.
Mwaipopo noted.

He said CTPD urges: Government and stakeholders to resume much needed dialogue on
the Constitution and map a way forward particularly.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. In some countries that Kaiza could have been thrown away. Look how it dented that good picture, a piece of bandit.
    In Zambia, its all about family, you don’t discard a brother, especially a brother-in-law or else you get in trouble with in-laws. And if you were a president you risk a pot of beans spilled. Imagine how many innocent monkeys he has shot at state house, and no one dare force to eat them.

    • Nonsense, leave them alone.
      The president told them it was alright.
      The judge errored in the judgement.
      They did not work for free also ka?

  2. AM SURE THE MONEY IS VERY LITTLE COMPARED WITH WHAT THESE MINISTERS ARE GETTING. LET THEM JUST PAY AND WE FORGET ABOUT THIS MATTER. WE ARE GOING THROUGH AUSTERITY MEASURES AND MINISTERS SHOULD LEAD BY EXAMPLE. IF A POOR CIVIL SERVANT “MISMANAGES” A MERE K2000, THE FORCES CAN DESCEND ON HIM IN FULL POWER. WHAT ABOUT THESE HIGHLY PAID MINISTERS. WHY SHOULD THEY GO SCOT FREE. ITS NOT FAIR. LET THEM JUST PAY AND WE FORGET ABOUT THIS MATTER.

  3. THE PROBLEM IS YOU ARE SAYING THE MINISTERS ARE WRONG WHAT ABOUT THE PRESIDENT WHO ALLOWED IT TO HAPPEN??? THE JUDICIARY SHOULD GIVE PROPER GUIDELINES THAT’S LIKE PUNISHING EMPLOYEES WHO WERE WORKING UNDER THE DIRECTIVE OF THE DIRECTOR IT’S NOT POSSIBLE… SO THE JUDICIARY ISN’T BEING FAIR IN THEIR JUDGEMENT THAT’S WHY THE MINISTERS FEEL THEY ARE PROTECTED BY THE EXECUTIVE…

  4. An African is his own worst enemy. Even where they have stolen millions, they are so pompous and greedy to pay back a few months wages. Unless they secretly increased their wages to exorbitant amounts and are now scared. Why haven’t the courts published what each minister owes so that we can then engage bailiffs to attend on behalf of the zambian people?

  5. The PF government mocks the people by refusing to pay. They never sought judicial clarity or guidance when they decided to illegally stay in office and why should they seek it now? This government is very arrogant, never cares about people apart from themselves only. They disobey court orders yet the court is silent and taking no further actions against the defaulters. As long as the people of Zambia remain silent nothing will be done. This government does not deserve another term in office because clearly they are a ruthless and lawless government period.

  6. The ConCourt is just a puppet of the executive. How can a final court revisit its own judgements or rulings?
    The truth is that the PF ministers were illegally getting salaries and using government resources to conduct political campaigns in 2016.In a country where the rule of law is respected all those Ministers would have sanctioned for also breaching electoral laws .
    The same Kangaroo court even overturned the high court judgements nullifying the election of Mwanakatwe and Nkandu Luo for using government resources among other breaches observed.
    To fool the public, the Kangaroo court has been trying to “balance” its judgements to project an fake image of impartiality.
    THE CONCOURT IS A DANGER TO THE JUDICIARY IN ZAMBIA. IT MUST BE DISBANDED AFTER 2021.

  7. Why ask them to Pay back? Idiooooocy.
    Withhold there next salaries equal to the number of days they overstayed. That is that. Not all this fuss. What is wrong with Zambians

    • That directive of deducting or witholding their salaries can only come from the Head of state who has also questioned that judgement.I know some wise ministers have saved knowing too well that Edgar Lungu won’t be there one day to protect them.Whether they like or not one day they will have to pay back

  8. Oneday it will be paid back with interest the smart ones can pay it into court to avoid interest but hey please don’t pay now

  9. Umulandu taubola. They will be forced To pay back when new government gets into office and will pay with interest. Those who won’t have money to pay back at that time will have their properties auctioned by the state balliefs.

  10. Just shows how greedy these animal farm creatures are? A normal person would pay back on voluntary basis period. President Lungu is silent too, shocking indeed. Ati Zambia in the sun, it is Zambia in the amafi

Comments are closed.

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