THE Lusaka High Court has castigated lawyers of the deregistered Democratic Front party over the manner in which they have handled case documents and communication between them.
And the State has requested to file further affidavits in opposition based on new discoveries after their initial affidavits.
Lusaka High Court Justice Betty Mung’omba expressed disappointment during a hearing where lawyers Keith Mweemba and Gilbert Phiri, both for the plaintiff (Miles Sampa), failed to agree over documents served from the State. Mr Phiri expressed ignorance that his client was not served the application in opposition of their application for judicial review, which the State explained had served on Mr Mweemba as a member.
Justice Mung’omba said she was disappointed with the lawyers from both parties, including the Attorney General, for failing to effectively communicate over the case.
‘‘ I must express my displeasure in the manner counsel for both parties with respect to service of notice of documents.
‘‘Sufficient time was given to the parties to file in all requisite documentation to avert further delays in the disposal of this matter. “To my disappointment, this has not been done. This shall be the last adjournment in this matter,” she said.
Mr Phiri had made an application for an adjournment on the basis that his law firm, Messrs PNP Advocates, was not served with the affidavit in opposition of their application for Judicial Review.
But State advocate from the office the Solicitor General, a Mr Hara explained that it was because they only served the bundle of documents on Messrs Keith Mwemba and Advocates with the hope that the two firms would share notes as well as serve the documents on their client.
And Mr Hara has applied for an adjournment to allow the state file in further affidavits in opposition of the appeal against the judgment to declare DF as a deregistered party.
“The 1st respondent seeks leave to file further affidavits in opposition based on discovery after filing the affidavit.
We request that it would be in the interest of justice,” he said.
High Court Justice Mung’omba granted the application for the state to file further affidavits as well as allowed the plaintiffs time to study the affidavits filed in opposition of their appeal.
The matter comes up for hearing on 12 April, 2016.