Mumba Malila asks Lusaka High Court to dismiss the judicial review request by Dora, Mwale and Sililo

Mumba Malila
Mumba Malila

ATTORNEY-General, Mumba Malila has asked the Lusaka High Court to dismiss the judicial review sought by three opposition Parliamentary aspiring candidates in respect of by-elections in the Petauke Central, Malambo and Mulobezi constituencies.
The Patriotic Front (PF) party has also filed a notice to be joined to the proceedings as an interested party and that it petitioned the parliamentary seats which were later nullified.
In his notice to raise preliminary issues, Mr Malila questioned whether the proceedings before the court were not incompetent for having been brought by way of judicial review rather than petition.
Mr Malila submitted that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain an application to direct actions against makers of general statements that did not specify the applicants and that the court did not have the ratione materiae to proceed further in the matter.
“For all the foregoing reasons, we respectfully pray that the applicants’ action be dismissed with costs,” he said.
He further stated that the judicial review proceedings were misconceived and an abuse of court process since they were premised exclusively on the perceived non-compliance with the provisions of section 22 and 104 of the Electoral Act which did not apply to any of the public officers.
Mr Malila also questioned whether any of the four accepted grounds for judicial review applied to the situation presented in the applicant’s applications.
He said section 104 which required a court that found corrupt or illegal practices to make a report of its findings to the case did not apply in this case as no report was made and none needed to be made for matters that were determined by the Supreme Court.
And an affidavit by the PF sworn by the party’s secretary general Wynter Kabimba stated that as a result of the nullification of the said seats by the Supreme Court, the PF intended to contest on all the seats and had already expended considerable human and financial resources in preparation of the same.
In the matter, the Lusaka High Court granted former parliamentarians, Dora Siliya, Maxwell Mwale and Hastings Sililo leave to commence judicial review against the respondent on grounds that they had intentions to refuse their filing of nominations.
The matter comes up today for hearing.