Wed, 23 Nov 2016 13:32:58 +0000
MY ROLE as Attorney General is not to get money from the State but to ensure that justice is served without discrimination, State Counsel Likando Kalaluka has said.
Mr Kalaluka yesterday told the Constitutional Court this during his application for the court to amend its own judgment that ministers should not pay back emoluments obtained during the period they stayed in office after the dissolution of parliament in May 9, 2016.
State Counsel Kalaluka argued that there was nothing in the Constitution that limited the Constitutional Court mandate to hear its own judgment. He said he does not subscribe to arguments that the court was in any way subordinate to the High Court in addressing issues pertaining to the Bill of Rights.
He said the Zambian Constitution does not say the Constitutional Court was final except that it would not be appealable to the Supreme Court. He said the court should therefore not refuse to hear the matter as it would limit its own mandate to allow for the development of the law.
“This court has a mandate to allow the development of the law. And if the court refused to hear the matter it means there will be no development of the law,” he said.
He was responding to Law Association of Zambia lawyer, John Sangwa, SC, who argued that the AG was wrongly before the court as a public officer representing private individuals. He said the former ministers had the right to move court as individuals or as a group and not through the office of the Attorney General who was a public officer.
He said there was nowhere in the law that allowed the AG to represent private individuals as was in the matter before the Constitutional Court.
LAZ and UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka won a petition against the continued stay in office of ministers which the Constitutional Court ruled was illegal, ordering them to pay back all emoluments received during the almost three months in office.
And UPND lawyer Keith Mweemba accused the Attorney General of putting himself at risk of creating a criminal offence as his application was against public interest to fight the order of the court.
Mr Mweemba said the AG could not hold any office other than that of a public officer and could not be allowed to represent private individuals.