DETAILS have emerged that the Lusaka High Court ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs not to dismiss or recall embattled diplomat to Tanzania, Yosi Miti, who was detained at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar-es-Salaam for five days on instructions of Zambia’s High Commissioner to Tanzania Judith Kapijimpanga.
And now lawyers representing Mr. Miti have given a 15-day ultimatum to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, chairman – Public Service Commission and the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) permanent secretary to respect the High Court order or face contempt proceedings.
Last week, Mr. Miti was detained by Tanzanian immigration authorities at the Dar-es-Salaam airport after he travelled to that country ti visit his family which includes his ailing 71 year old mother who is suffering from hypertension. Mr. Miti spent five days in detention at the airport and could not be allowed to see his family.
Details are that the Lusaka High Court on 8th October, 2014 granted Mr. Miti leave for judicial review against the action by Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary George Kanyamula Zulu (former) to dismiss him from the public service.
The High Court order was also to operate as a stay of implementation of Mr. Zulu’s decision to dismiss Mr. Miti until the matter was concluded in Court.
“Upon hearing counsel for the applicant and upon reading the affidavit of Yosi Miti filed herein, it is ordered that leave to apply for judicial review be and is hereby granted. And it is further ordered that the said leave shall operate as a stay of the implementation of the decision of the permanent secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made on or about 7th August 2014 dismissing the applicant from the public service and the decision of recalling the applicant from foreign service until the determination of this application or until further order of the court,” stated the court order.
On 18th December, 2014, the Attorney General’s Chambers pleaded with Mr. Miti to agree to proposals that he should not report for work in Tanzania despite the High Court order, but that he would still be paid his salary and other allowances as per Foreign Service conditions, the proposal the Ministry of Foreign Affairs breached.
“Further to our telephone conversation on the 17th December, 2014, we seek to inquire from yourselves whether your client is agreeable to the following proposals. (1) that your client should not report for work until the matter is fully determined. (2) That your client will continue getting paid his normal emoluments despite the fact that he will not be reporting for work until the final determination of this matter. Kindly revert back to us as soon as you obtain your instructions from your client,” the letter from assistant senior State advocate Mulawo Mwaba stated.
After the continued breach of the Order, Lawyers representing Mr. Miti from Tembo, Ngulube & Advocates have now given the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and others a 15 days ultimatum failure to which contempt proceedings would be instituted.
The lawyers expressed deep concern at the failure by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to comply with the court order.
According to a letter dated 2nd June, 2015, addressed to the Attorney General’s Chambers, the lawyers have expressed concern at the delays to fully comply with the full import of the judge’s order.
“Accordingly, we have instructed our client to immediately resume duties in Tanzania. Additionally, urgently restore our client on the Foreign Service allowances payroll; clear all arrears in salaries and foreign allowances to date. Should our client be impeded in his duties, foreign service allowances and salary arrears remain unpaid within 15 days hereof, we shall have no option but to commence contempt of court proceedings against the controlling officers of the responsible Ministries/Department being Permanent Secretary-Foreign Affairs, Chairman-Public Service Commission and Permanent Secretary –Public Service Management Division (PSMD),” the lawyers said.
The lawyers also warned that the issue of the non-compliance of the court order had been brought to the attention of the Judge in Chambers who had requested that she be furnished with the progress report for further action.
They warned that it was their hope that the matter was resolved speedily without embarrassment and imprisonment of senior Government officials concerned.