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Ex ministers ask court to pay in instalments

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  • The 43 include ministers Mr Given Lubinda, Mr Vincent Mwale, Ms Jean Kapata, Mr Stephen Kampyongo and Professor Nkandu Luo.

By GRACE CHAILE-LESOETSA

FORTY-THREE ministers out of the 63 who continued to earn a salary after dissolution of Parliament between May and July 2016 have applied to the Court for leave to settle the debt they were ordered to pay back to the State in monthly instalments.

The 43 include ministers Mr Given Lubinda, Mr Vincent Mwale, Ms Jean Kapata, Mr Stephen Kampyongo and Professor Nkandu Luo.

Others are PF Secretary-General who was Minister of Home Affairs Davies Mwila, Mr Richwell Siamunene, Mr Lawrence Sichalwe and Mr Musenge Mwenya.

On December 8, 2020, the Constitutional Court ordered the 63 ministers who continued to earn a salary after dissolution of Parliament between May and July 2016 to pay back the money to the State within 30 days from the date of ruling.

The 63 will refund to the State over K3.7 million with each expected to pay more than K50, 000.

In this matter, the State through the Attorney General’s Chambers had asked the Constitutional Court to assess the amount the ministers were required to pay back.

This follows a judgement of the Constitutional Court, which ordered the ministers to payback emoluments accrued during that period.

The judgement was as a result of a matter where the Law Association of Zambia and UPND through its secretary- general Mr Steven Katuka, challenged the continued stay in office of the ministers after Parliament was dissolved ahead of the 2016 general elections.

Then Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula and 63 others were petitioned in their personal capacities.

But in an affidavit in support of summons for an order for settlement of assessed amounts in instalments filed in the Constitutional Court on January 5, this year, the 43 through their lawyer Bonaventure Mutale SC, stated that they are unable to settle the assessed amounts in a lump sum due to different factors.

Mr Mutale said some of them are in employees of the government either as ministers or are in diplomatic service and their net pay is a sum of K39, 122.96.

He also stated that other former ministers are currently serving as Members of Parliament and their net pay is K32, 527.94.

“That in addition, each of the said respondents have family and other financial commitments which includes school fees, tertiary education fees, medical expenses, utility charges amongst others,” he stated.

Mr Mutale said the current ministers and MPs each propose to settle the assessed amounts in monthly instalments of K10, 000.

He stated that the rest of the former ministers are in retirement and their main source of income is derived from subsistence farming and therefore propose to pay back the assessed amount in monthly instalments of K5, 000.

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