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State reduces ex-ministers repayments to K4.2 from K4.7 million

THE state has reduced the amount of money it suggested that former Patriotic Front cabinet ministers and their deputies should pay back for illegally staying in office after their mandate had expired prior to the 2016 presidential and general elections, from the initial K4.7 million to K4.2 million.

The state has indicated that the repatriation allowances owed to the 64 ministers was K8,000 contrary to the K15,000 which they were demanding.

In this matter, Attorney General Likando Kalaluka had asked the Constitutional Court to compel the Registrar of the Constitutional Court to assesses the amount of money that the Patriotic Front ministers were required to pay back as directed by the court in a matter where the Law Association of Zambia and the UPND had petitioned Ngosa Simbyakula (left) and 63 others in the Constitutional Court in 2016 for failing to vacate office when their mandate expired prior to the elections.

The state claimed that it had challenges in both addressing the recovery of emoluments and/or
considering the question of indemnity as the exact emoluments (salaries, allowances and per diems) to be recovered have not been agreed by the parties, three years after judgment.

In a further affidavit in support of assessment of amount due pursuant to the judgment dated August 8, 2016, filed on July 16, 2020 and sworn by Fides Kalangwa, a director of policy research and standards in the office of the Accountant General at the Ministry of Finance, the state indicated that the emoluments have been duly computed by the policy research and standards for the period of May to July 2016.

“As can be seen from the said computation, the total amount recoverable from the former Cabinet ministers and former deputy ministers for the period of May to July 2016 is in the sum of K4,778,664.10,” reads the statement.

“The computation was arrived at after looking at the payslips of the former Cabinet ministers and former deputy ministers,” said Kalangwa.

However, according to a notice of non-objection to the quantum settled by the state, Simbyakula and his counterparts did not object to paying the K4.7 million proposed by the state being emoluments which they were required to pay back for staying in office illegally, but demanded K15,000 each as repatriation allowances.

“Take notice that the respondents represented by Messrs Ellis and Co, Messrs D. H. Kemp and Co and Messrs Lungu Simwanza and Company did not object to the quantum of emoluments as quantified by the first respondent(state),” read the notice.

” Save that the said respondents were not paid their repatriation allowances in the sum of K15,000 per person.”

The notice further indicated that Obius Chisala, the 31st respondent did not receive his salary and allowances for two months in June and July 2016 because his contract of employment was terminated on June 8, 2016.

But Fredson Yamba, secretary to the treasury, in an affidavit in reply to the notice of non-objection to the quantum settled by the state, said the 63 were owed K8,000 as repatriation allowances and not K15,000.

“With regards to the issue of repatriation allowances, the correct figure to be paid to the former cabinet ministers and former deputy ministers is K8,000 each. My office has duly re-computed the summary for net pays and allowances to be recovered from ministers taking into account the K8,000,” Yaba said.

“The total amount recoverable from the former cabinet ministers and their deputies for the period of May to July 2016 is in the sum of K4,266,664.10.”

Yamba said with regards to the claim by Chisala that he was not paid, the latter was paid his salary for the months of May, June and July 2016 as confirmed by his payslips.

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