THE Constitutional Court has barred nine ‘former’ PF members of parliament from reinstituting proceedings before it, challenging the decision of the Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti to stop them from participating in parliamentary business.
Constitutional Court judge Judy Zulu Mulongoti said the matter could not be heard during the Christmas holiday as she had not yet allowed Lunte member of parliament Mutotwe Kafwaya and eight others to petition the decision of Mutti to eject them from parliament pending determination of the cases in which they are individually challenging the nullification of their parliamentary elections.
Last week, the nine discontinued the case before the High Court after Attorney General Kabesha Mulilo asked the court to cite PF central committee member Raphael Nakacinda for contempt of court for disparaging the Judiciary.
This was after Nakacinda alleged that some judges were having meetings with President Hakainde Hichilema in a bid to influence the outcome of their petitions.
Kafwaya, Lukas Simumba, Kalalwe Mukosha, Bowman Lusambo, Taulo Chewe, Christopher Chibuye, Joseph Malanji, Allen Banda and Sibongile Mwamba had applied for leave to commence the matter during the Christmas vacation pursuant to Order 64 of the Supreme Court Rules.
However, judge Mulongoti ruled that Order 64 Rule 3(2) of the Supreme Court Rules was inapplicable as the matter had not yet commenced in the Constitutional Court.
“The applicants seek leave to issue and serve the petition during the Christmas vacation which is not envisaged under the cited Order 64 Rule 3(2) of the White Book. I am therefore of the considered view that the application is misconceived,” judge Mulongoti said. “Perusal of the Constitutional Court Rules reveals no provision or Rule which envisages the applicant’s application for leave to issue and serve the petition during the Christmas vacation. The Rules are silent in this regard. I am therefore inclined to refuse this application.”
She added that the cases relied upon had been cited out of context and were inapplicable in the case.
“I equally note that apart from averments that the matter is urgent, the applicants have not demonstrated how, merely stating so does not make the matter urgent. In light of the foregoing the application fails and is accordingly dismissed,” said judge Mulongoti.