Court News

Court dismisses Govt’s stay bid against CEC

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

THE Lusaka High Court has refused to grant the State its request to stay execution of judgement which quashed Energy Minister Mathew Nkhuwa’s decision to declare CEC transmission and distribution lines as common carriers, pending appeal.

Judge Elita Mwikisa in her ruling said she could not stay execution of an order of certiorari as doing so would amount to reversing her own decision in the judgement of February 26, this year.

Last month, Attorney General Likando Kalaluka appealed to the Court of Appeal against Ms Justice Mwikisa’s ruling to quash the minister’s decision to declare Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) transmission and distribution lines as common carriers.

Mr Kalaluka also asked the court to stay the execution of the ruling pending the determination of the appeal by the Court of Appeal.

CEC however argued that the company will severely be hampered in the enforcement of its rights against Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to secure the payment of its undisputed debt of US$151, 894, 955 should the court stay the execution of judgement.

It also argued that the mere fact that the State had filed a notice and memorandum of appeal was not enough ground to warrant any execution of the judgement.

CEC stated that the State’s application was improperly before the High Court and because stays of execution of quashing orders were not tenable at law as they have the effect of overturning the decision of the court.

It stated that a stay of the judgement by the court would have the effect of crippling down CEC’s operations.

However, Ms Justice Mwikisa in the ruling said it was trite law that an order of certiorari could not be stayed by the High Court but by the Court of Appeal.

“I equally decline to grant the stay of execution of the order of certiorari as doing so would have the effect of reversing my earlier decision in my judgement dated February 26, 2021,” Judge Mwikisa said.

And on the issue of the law under which the State brought its application namely; Order 10 Rule 5 of the Court of Appeal Rules, Judge Mwikisa said that CEC through its lawyers was right in its submissions that order 53 provides for judicial review proceedings and not the High Court Rules, the Court of Appeal Rules or any other rules for that matter.

“I accordingly decline to grant the order staying execution of my judgement of February 26, 2021. I therefore set aside the ex-parte order of stay granted on March 5, 2021. Costs shall be in the cause and leave to appeal is granted,” she ruled.

And Patriotic Front (PF) Provincial structures have pledged to rally behind the candidature of President Edgar Lungu during the party’s convention slated for this weekend.

ZANIS reports that PF Lusaka Province Chairman, Kennedy Kamba, disclosed this to the media shortly after President Lungu filed in his application for adoption as Presidential candidate for the August 12, 2021 General elections, at PF secretariat in Lusaka yesterday.

Mr Kamba said President Lungu has proven himself through his hard work as evidenced by the massive development that his administration has initiated countrywide.

“We would like to inform the nation that as provincial party structures, we are reaffirming the endorsement of President Edgar Lungu as our sole candidate. My appeal to all party officials in Lusaka is for them to append their signature on the candidate that the secretariat has submitted,” Mr Kamba stated.

Mr Kamba has since called for unity in the party, adding that every member should mobilize for support towards President Lungu.

And Western Province PF Acting Chairperson, Glen Kalimbwe, re-echoed Mr Kambas sentiments, assuring that his province will fully support President Lungu during the convention.

Mr Kalimbwe stressed that western province has received the largest share of the national cake under the leadership of President Lungu without also forgetting the appointment of Inonge Wina as Vice President.

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