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COURT REJECTS SIYUNYI APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
SUSPENDED Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Lillian Siyunyi has been denied leave to commence judicial review proceedings by the High Court over the President’s refusal to waive the Oath of secrecy so she can defend herself before the Judicial Complaints Commission (JCC).
According to a ruling delivered by Judge Pixie Yangailo yesterday, the application was dismissed because it was filed out of time.
But reacting to the outcome of the ruling, Ms Siyunyi’s lawyer, former Solicitor General Abraham Mwansa said that their contention remains that State House special assistant – legal affairs Christopher Mundia has no mandate to communicate such a decision as it should be done by the President, under the President’s signature.
Asked if they would appeal against the High Court’s ruling, Mr Mwansa said he was yet to receive instructions from Ms Siyunyi.
JCC had submitted that the decision to refuse Ms Siyunyi a waiver of her oath of office was a decision contained in a letter authored by the special assistant to the President – Legal Affairs in a letter dated May 3, 2022.
The JCC claimed that three months had passed from the date of the said decision to the date of the application.
It contended that the application for leave to commence judicial review has been overtaken by events as President Hakainde Hichilema acted on the recommendations by the JCC and suspended the DPP.
The JCC urged the court to dismiss the application saying that it was misconceived.
In this matter, Ms Siyunyi sought an order to stay the decision by the President refusing to grant her a waiver of the Oath of Office so she defends herself before the JCC.
She prayed for an order to stay the hearing of complaints lodged by the public with the JCC pending determination of her application.
She wanted an order quashing the decision of the President.
Ms Siyunyi contended that the decision of Mr Hichilema to refuse to grant her a waiver of the Oath of Office in respect of the matters complained of by the public lodged with the JCC is illegal.
She added that this was ultra vires Section 5(1) and (2) and Section 6 of the Official Oaths Act chapter 5 of the laws of Zambia as read together with article 182 (1) and (3) and article 93(1) of the Constitution (amendment) Act no. 2 of 2016.

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