By Chikumbi Katebe
IT is unreasonable and completely misplaced to demand the firing of Attorney General Likando Kalaluka for merely performing his duty when he represented 64 former ministers who held public office after the dissolution of Parliament prior to the 2016 general elections, says Young African Leaders Initiative president Andrew Ntewewe.
Mr Ntewewe said the Attorney-General like any other lawyer believed that he had locus standi in having been a party to both the petition and its determination.
Mr Ntewewe said while the organisation respects the decision of the Constitutional Court, it was their belief that judicial practices worldwide acknowledged parties to a judgment as having locus standi to appeal or seek review of the judgement in question.
“The court itself, on pages 25 and 26 of the judgment, stated, “the Attorney General’s role in the ministers’ case was to represent Government which at the time included the 2nd to 64th respondents as they were still in office.”
“We also repeat our previously stated position, that at the time of filing the petition, the petitioners applied to the court for an interim order to stop the 2nd to 64th respondents from receiving a salary or any emoluments while the court was seized with the matter,” Mr Ntewewe said.
He explained that with an order of interim injunction, the former ministers could have not been getting the salaries as they did, which could have helped their position with the current judgment.
Mr Ntewewe said it was up to the court to grant the injunction to prevent harm either during determination of a matter or at the end of it, and that “the harm to be suffered by the 2nd to 64th respondents by their having to pay back the said salaries and emoluments, could have been prevented if the court had not refused to grant the interim order sought by the petitioners.”
Mr Ntewewe said with this in mind, it was therefore insinuated that the salaries received was with the blessings of the court, which they were now ordered to pay back.
And YALI has observed that the judgment to repay the emoluments has not resolved the question in relation to the work that was done by ministers while in office as it was public service entitled to be paid for.
“We therefore urge and encourage the former ministers, individually or collectively, to seek representation from private legal practitioners and apply to the court to review its earlier decision of 7th August, 2016 which YALI believes to have no basis at law and ought to be reviewed by the court itself,” Mr Ntewewe said.
And for those demanding for the resignation of the Attorney General, they ought to understand that “…it is normal in our country’s adversarial system of justice for lawyers to win some cases and lose others. The Attorney General was simply doing his job as a lawyer, and we commend him on his initiative.”