Court throws out LAZ injunction against ministers

By nation Reporter

THE Constitutional Court has thrown out the Law Association of Zambias application for an interim injunction to restrain Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula and 62 other ministers from performing their duties and receiving rewards from their positions after the dissolution of Parliament.

This is contained in a ruling delivered by Constitutional Court president Hildah Chibomba yesterday.

“I find that this is not a proper case in which I can exercise my discretionary power to grant the interim relief in form of an interlocutory injunction sought.

“For the reasons given above, the petitioner’s application for interim relief to restrain the respondents from continuing to hold their offices and from drawing and continued to draw emoluments pertaining therefrom pending the disposal if the petition by the main court is declined,” she said.

Lady Justice Chibomba said there was no proper case to grant the interim relief to restrain the ministers and their deputies from continuing to hold their offices and from drawing their emoluments from public funds.

In this matter, LAZ president Linda Kasonde petitioned the Constitutional Court over the continued stay in office of ministers, deputies and provincial ministers after the dissolution of Parliament.

And Justice Chibomba has joined the Attorney General to the matter where Dr Simbyakula and 62 others have been dragged to court for their continued stay in office and drawing public funds in terms of allowances from their positions.

Last week, LAZ filed in opposition of an application by the Attorney General for the consolidation of matters of similar nature before the Constitutional Court where UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka sued him over the continued stay in office of ministers, deputies and the provincial ministers after the dissolution of Parliament, and the LAZ matter involving Dr Simbyakula and 62 others sued in their individual capacities over their continued drawing of public funds as emoluments in their posts as ministers, deputies and provincial ministers respectively.

Justice Chibomba explained that granting the injunction sought at the current stage would be ordering Dr Simbyakula and his colleagues to vacate office at an interim stage which required to be decided in the main matter at trial.

“In the current case and strictly speaking, what I have been asked to decide in this application is the same as what the main court will be called upon to decide on the merits at the main hearing as to whether the respondents’   continued stay in their respective offices following the dissolution of Parliament on 13th May, 2016, and the enactment of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act 2016 on 5th January, 2016 is illegal, unconstitutional and therefore, null and void,” she charged.

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