PATRIOTIC FRONT secretary general Davis Chama has lost a High Court application to join him to the case in which Miles Sampa has challenged the Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini’s decision to declare Matero Constituency vacant following his resignation from the ruling party.
High Court Justice Betty Mung’omba in her ruling yesterday said there was no sufficient cause to join Mr Chama to the proceedings just because the plaintiff was a member of the ruling party.
“Whilst I acknowledge and take cognizance of the fact that the applicant for Judicial Review herein Mr Miles Sampa won the Parliamentary seat on a Patriotic Front ticket, I have pondered over whether that fact alone clothes the interested party with sufficient interest. I find that the test for sufficient interest or locus standi has not been met,” she said.
Justice Mung’omba explained that the principle for one to be joined to judicial review proceedings was to satisfy the sufficiency of interest test, which she said Mr Chama failed to do in his application.
She argued that what was before the courts was the applicant’s contention of the Speaker’s decision to declare his seat vacant, and whether or not Parliament exceeded its jurisdiction to take such action should be left to the courts alone to decide.
The learned justice explained that even to grant judicial review was a prerogative of the courts to determine whether the public body overstepped its boundaries in its decision, which ultimately could have affected a private individual, in this case Mr Sampa.
Ms Justice Mung’omba argued in her ruling that what was being contested before her court was the Speaker’s decision, and not Mr Sampa’s sponsorship by the PF which could have led to his winning the Matero parliamentary seat in the 2011 election.
“What is contended by the applicant (Sampa) is that the Speaker of the National Assembly has declared his seat vacant.
“The effect of this is that the applicant will lose his membership to the National Assembly arising from which he will not be able to represent the electorate in his constituency,” she said.
Ms Justice Mung’omba explained Mr Sampa stood to lose his emoluments and privileges which came with being MP, which effect would not be suffered by the PF as a political party, as would their joinder.
She charged that despite having been sponsored by the PF, there was no proof of sufficient interest in judicial review proceedings between the applicant who was a private individual and the public body represented by the National Assembly Speaker.
She said the mere fact that somebody could be affected by something did not demonstrate enough evidence to join them to court proceedings, adding that “I accordingly decline to grant the application for joinder to the proceedings for Judicial Review and dismiss the application for being bereft of merit”.
Mr Sampa resigned from the ruling PF and formed his own party, the Democratic Front (DF) but Mr Speaker Matibini declared his seat vacant.