Hear me out, Siamunene tells court

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SOURCE- $Times_of_Zambia

SINAZONGWE Member of Parliament (MP) Richwell Siamunene says it is desirable for the court to hear and determine his appeal on merit because his expulsion threatens to send his constituency to a by-election which is a significant drain on the national treasury.

Mr Siamunene who has appealed against his expulsion from United Party for National Development (UPND) made the submissions in the Supreme Court.

But UPND secretary general Winston Chibwe has urged the court to dismiss Mr Siamunene’s appeal alleging he the Commerce deputy minister has abandoned his case and was now trying to cling onto the parliamentary seat by delaying prosecution of the matter.

This is in a matter in which Mr Siamunene has appealed to the Supreme court against the high court’s decision to refusal to restrain the party from expelling him.

Mr Chibwe has through his lawyers Martha Mushipe from Mushipe and Associates urged the court to dismiss Mr Siamunene’s action.

He said in his respondent’s skeleton arguments in support of summons to dismiss action for want of prosecution that Mr Siamunene’s action which was moved around July this year should be dismissed with costs because ever since he filed the notice of appeal, he has neglected to file records of appeal into the court within the mandatory 60 days period as provided for by the law.

Mr Chibwe said that Mr Siamunene had neglected to file the record of appeal and has consequently not paid any security for costs of the appeal which meant prejudicing the interest of UPND because it was being denied the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of the high court judgment.

But Mr Siamune in opposing Mr Chibwe’s application urged the court to refuse to allow Mr Chibwe’s application saying failure to file the appeal within 60 days does not mean that he had abandoned his case or failed to prosecute it.

Mr Siamunene said that the trial judge had taken leave which resulted in his lawyers having difficulties in accessing the file on time.

He said efforts were being made to ensure that the record of appeal was filed and the matter was heard on merits.

When the matter came yesterday, Ms Mushipe asked for an adjournment to enable his client file response to Mr Siamunene’s arguments.

Judge Gregory Phiri adjourned the matter to January 23, 2014.

Times of Zambia