Judge Chali gets Sata’s medical board case

The matter in which civil rights activist, Brebner Changala has asked the High Court to compel Government to constitute a medical board to examine the physical and mental status of President Michael Sata has been allocated to Judge Issac Chali of Ndola High Court.

Mr Changala confirmed the allocation of his matter against the Attorney General yesterday.

He has asked the Lusaka High Court to commence judicial review to his demand so that a medical board to ascertain President Sata’s physical and mental capacity could be formed.

In his application, Mr Changala said he had been forced to seek judicial review following the President’s recent frail appearances coupled with his incoherent public speeches that have fueled speculation and innuendoes about the health of the Head of State.

In a letter to then acting President Wynter Kabimba captioned ‘Establishment of a medical board-Article 36 of the Constitution of Zambia, Cap 1, Mr Changala stated that while President Sata appeared to enjoy good health and was of reasonable health appearance in stature and coherent in speech soon after ascending to the presidency, he had noted with grave concern that the appearance of the Head of State in the recent past had raised public concern and speculation as to the physical and mental capacity to discharge the functions of the office of the President.

In his notice of application for leave to apply for judicial review pursuant to order 53 rule 3 of the Supreme Court rules, Mr Changala has demanded that President Sata must be subjected to a medical board to ascertain the physical and mental capacity after President Sata left the country in the still of the night of Friday 20th June 2014 for Israel whose travel was only announced after the Head of State arrived in Tel Aviv.

Mr Changala submitted that he had been compelled to demand for the establishment of a medical board to ascertain the physical and mental capacity of President Sata following a failed attempt to obtain a ministerial statement from government on the exact health status through Parliament after the Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini placed a moratorium on the debate on the matter.

In a statistical tabulation of events in which President Sata had appeared frail and incoherent and curtailing presidential function in most cases, Mr Changala through his lawyers Makebi Zulu Advocates said it was undeniable that the Head of State was no longer enjoying good health hence his demand for a medical board.

He submitted that since President Sata’s travel to Israel, there had been deeper speculation about the failing health of the Head of State adding that contradictory statements from government particularly from Vice-President Guy Scott, Acting Information and Broadcasting Minister Mwansa Kapeya and the position of the Times of Israel of 25th June 2014 had heightened matters.

Mr Changala said even after he had written to Mr Kabimba while acting as President to constitute a medical board to investigate the physical and mental status of President Sata, government had decided to ignore his demand and had failed to respond to his letter.

He said President Sata had since returned from Israel but that his arrival was shrouded in secrecy fueling further speculation that the Head of State was not in sound health.

Mr Changala said that it had become absolutely necessary and in public interest to consider the question of the physical and mental capacity of President Sata so as to ascertain the republican President’s physical and mental capacity.

“The President has since returned from Israel. Although the arrival was shrouded in secrecy, the President is reported and is believed to have returned from Israel by reason of the sentries being present at the gate of State House symbolizing the President’s presence although no official statement has been given to the public by the government. It has become absolutely necessary in public interest to consider the question of physical and mental capacity of the President to as to ascertain the Republican President’s physical and mental capacity since cabinet has failed and neglected to perform its statutory function conferred by article 36 of the constitution of Zambia,” Mr Changala said.

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