Sata’s house: AG petitioned

Saturday, December 8, 2012

OPPOSION UPND has written to Attorney General Mumba Malila demanding the withdraw of the budgetary allocation of K1.4 billion for the construction of President Michael Sata’s retirement house and K1.5 billion to the office of the first lady.

In separate letters dated 6th December and addressed to Attorney General Mumba Malila, Ministry of Justice, and copied to UPND president Hakainde Hichilema, UPND lawyers Dindi and Company stated that, “Our clients attention has been drawn to page 911 of the yellow book wherein a budgetary allocation of K1.4 billion has been made by the Minister of Finance for the construction of a retirement house for the incumbent President His Excellency Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata,”

the letter stated.

“We act for the UPND and therefore carefully note our interest in the matter, “the letter reads.

The letter further states that, “Our client’s position is that the allocation and therefore construction of the house for the incumbent president at this early state flies in the teeth of the spirit and tenor of the benefits of the Former President’s Act Chapter 15 of the laws of Zambia.”

Dindi and Company also said that Mr. Sata was neither a former President nor had he retired in order to benefit.

“This is because indisputably Mr. Sata is neither a former President nor has he retired as to be entitled to the benefits under the Act which include the house,” he said.

The law firm said that the allocation of K1.4 billion in the 2013 budget for the construction of a house for the incumbent President is premature and illegal.

“Further we contend that the move is also (Wednesbury) unreasonable in light of the fact that the house for the second, third and forth presidents are yet to be constructed. On the foregoing, we are instructed to demand that the said allocation be withdrawn by return of post on grounds of illegality and unreasonableness so that the money is channeled to more urgent and needy areas such as construction of house of the second, third and fourth republican president,” he said.

In another letter, Dindi and Company said that budgetary allocation to the office of the first lady was unconstitutional and therefore the funds should be withdrawn.

“Our clients’ attention has been drawn to the budgetary allocation of K1.5 billion by the Minister of Finance to Dr. Christine Kaseba who happens to be the first lady. Whereas our clients recognize the important role that the first lady plays, our client posts that the allocation of the funds in the National Budget to the first lady is illegal because the first lady is just a title for the wife of the President and by no means an established or recognized office either under the constitution or cabinet office.”

The letter further said that the allocation to Dr. Kaseba’s office was unconstitutional as it went against the provisions of Article 155 (1) of the constitution of Zambia.

“We are instructed to demand that the budgetary allocation be annulled by return of post until measures are put in place to either constitutionalise or in any legitimate manner establish the office of the first lady so as to enable her to draw from the national treasury,” stated the letter.

The lawyers further said that, “Unless our clients demand is met by return of post, we are under firm and sufficient instructions to issue process for judicial review of the allocation of the Minister of Finance to allocate funds to Dr. Kaseba from the national treasury for purposes of quashing it with costs.”

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