By PETER SICHALI
THE Constitutional Court misdirected itself by ordering Ministers who remained in office after dissolution of parliament to repay the emoluments that they earned while in office, Patriots for Economic Progress leader Sean Tembo has said.
Mr Tembo said the Court should not have adopted a shallow perspective on the matter by holding that the ministers were illegally in office at their own instance.
Mr Tembo said the Constitutional Court blindly interpreted the law and ended up creating an injustice.
“Even from a labour law point of view, what the Constitutional Court has perpetuated through its blind judgment in this matter is a gross injustice,” he said.
Mr Tembo said ministers are employees of Government and that it is responsible for paying their remuneration.
“In this case, the President as head of government explicitly instructed the ministers to stay in office. In other words, the employer instructed its employees to stay in office therefore it is unfair to ask individual ministers to pay,” Mr Tembo said.
He said the judgement is unfair to the individual ministers as they did not remain in office by themselves, but were compelled to do so by their appointing authority.
“The individual ministers themselves are not culpable of any wrongdoing and it is a violation for the court to seek to punish individuals that are not guilty of any wrongdoing whatsoever,” he said.
Mr Tembo has advised ministers who were ordered to pay back the money by the Constitutional court to consider filing a lawsuit against government through the Attorney General, to compel the government to indemnify them for the money that they have to pay.
“The ministers should consider filling an application to the Constitutional Court for the Court to review its own ruling in this matter as the ruling is neither just nor equitable. Interpretation of the law must not be done blindly. It must be done with full consideration of the circumstances at hand,” Mr Tembo said.
By PETER SICHALI