‘‘THE State appeal against the High Court judgment which allowed me to go back to Parliament as Patriotic Front Member of Parliament despite being opposition UPND vice president lacks merit and should not cause the overturning of the judgment in my favour,’’ Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba has argued.
This is a matter in which the Kasama Member of Parliament has requested the Lusaka High Court to revoke the order to bar him from attending the National Assembly, insisting that he was still representing the PF and Kasama Central in Parliament.
This is according to an affidavit filed before High Court Justice Florence Lengalenga.
Mr Mwamba, who is popularly known as GBM, said the order obtained ex-parte to stop him from attending the session of Parliament before it was dissolved should be set aside to allow him be heard over the matter.
“That the first and 2nd respondents not being satisfied with the judgment of this honourable court filed into the Supreme Court registry on the 31st March, 2016, a notice of appeal and subsequently made an ex-parte application for stay of execution of judgment pending the determination of the appeal and on 1st April, 2016, this honourable court granted the ex-parte order for stay of execution of judgment.
“I have been advised by my advocates and verily believe that I can request from the honourable court for an inter-parte hearing for the stay of execution of the order. Further, I have been advised by my advocates that ex-parte order of stay dated 1st April 2016 can be set aside for the reason, amongst others, that the appeal has no merit or prospects of success,” he said.
Mr Mwamba explained that the ex-parte order for the stay of execution granted to the State did not contain the provisions for endorsement of an inter-parte hearing which was against the general practice regarding ex-parte applications and orders.
He charged that it was the duty of the party that obtained the order to include a date for proposed inter-parte hearings which entitled the other party to apply for an inter-parte hearing.
Mr Mwamba said even the grounds of appeal advanced for the stay did not present desirable or necessary reasons to deny him enjoyment of the judgment, citing insufficient grounds to warrant a stay of execution of judgment pending the Supreme Court appeal.
“That with respect to the above, I crave this honourable court to set a date for inter-parte to hear the appellant’s affidavit in opposition to the respondents’ affidavit in support of the ex-parte order granted in default of the general practice regarding ex-parte applications and ex-parte orders and I seek the indulgence of the court to set it aside and allow the hearing of the 1st and 2nd respondents’ application inter-parte,” he said.
Mr Mwamba sued Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini together with the Attorney General of Zambia and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) over the declaration of his seat vacant after he evidently crossed the floor and accepted to be opposition UPND vice president for administration.
Justice Lengalenga in delivering her judgment overturned Dr Matibini’s decision to declare Kasama Central vacant, saying the Speaker acted in excess of his powers instead of letting the court decide.
The judgment also ruled that Mr Mwamba was to be paid all emoluments he could have missed during his absence from Parliament.
But Solicitor General Abram Mwansa filed an appeal against the judgment explaining that Mr Mwamba was a known defector from the ruling PF to the UPND where he also accepted the opposition’s deputy presidency.
Mr Mwamba has also filed in opposition an appeal that bars him from going to Parliament and enjoy the benefits of the National Assembly after the High Court judgment that ruled that he was still PF Kasama MP while he was opposition UPND party vice president.
Zambia Daily Nation