THE Lusaka High Court has discharged an ex parte court order granted to Rae Zambia restraining Tullow Zambia from conducting oil and gas exploration in Block 31 in Kasama.
Rae Zambia on August 8, three days before the Tullow launch in Kasama which was widely publicized, obtained an ex parte order restraining the latter from conducting any explorations on Block 31 already awarded to it under licence number PEL/007.
But President Edgar Lungu on Friday went against the court order granted in favour of Rae Zambia and launched the Tullow Zambia Block 31 Oil and Gas Exploration in Kasama.
“It is hereby ordered that Tullow Zambia BV by itself, servants, employee, agents, contractors or workmen, subsidiary or associated entity or otherwise is hereby strictly enjoined and restrained from undertaking or engaging in any petroleum exploration activities of whatever nature and description with respect to the area particularly and known as block 31 located in the Northern Province in the republic of Zambia,”
the court order which was stamped August 8, 2017 and signed on August 10, 2017 stated.
Tullow Oil is therefore expected to comply with this order, the order stated.
Tullow Zambia BV is restrained from interfering with the appellant’s right to enjoy the benefits conferred on it under the Petroleum Exploration Licence number PEL/007 pursuant to the provisions of section 13 of the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act No. 10 of 2008; and that Tullow Zambia BV complies with this order forthwith. It is further ordered that this matter is heard inter-partes on the 25th day of August 2017 at 09:00 hours,
stated the court order.
However, President Lungu’s spokesperson Amos Chanda said neither the Attorney General nor State House was served with the court order before the Tullow exploration project was launched.
“The Attorney General has not been served with this order neither has Tullow [Zambia BV]. Tullow was informed by phone after the launch that a court order had been issue on 11 TH August,” claimed Chanda.
“In any event the restraining order is against Tullow but served on AG who has nothing to do with exploration work! This one is a classic case of something fish, anyway we wait until 25. Under the State Proceedings Act the state can never be restrained from carrying out executive functions later on (sic) the president. In this case that order was not served on anyone before the launch.”
And yesterday, the Lusaka High Court discharged its order.
“Upon reading the affidavit of Francis Kondwelani Mwale filed into court in support of the application, it is hereby ordered and directed that the ex-parte order of interim injunction granted to the appellant herein on 8th August, 2017 be and is hereby discharged,” stated the order of discharge.
On Friday during the commissioning of Tullow’s exploration project, President Lungu said Tullow Zambia was an example of the massive investments the PF government was attracting to the country.
When doomsayers and other unpatriotic elements seek to undermine our motherland by purveying falsehoods about us in some foreign media outlets, our credible response to their lies must be investment such as this. When they say Zambia is unsustainable for business, please show them the Tullow example. We are committed to an all-inclusive development agenda that speaks to the interests of all our people. That’s why I want to use this opportunity to urge all my colleagues in Cabinet in all functionaries in our great party, the PF to focus our eyes on the ball. Let them talk and let us work. We have just clocked a year since the people gave us a clear mandate to govern. We shall not let them down. Let me make it clear that both in and outside government, I have no more time for fruitless talk and meaningless politicking. I have a job to do,
said President Lungu during the launch.