THE Lusaka High Court has thrown out an application for an order of an interim injunction to restrain Minister of Defence Edgar Lungu from holding out as Patriotic Front (PF) president and filing his nomination for the January 20 presidential election.
High Court judge-in-charge Isaac Chali said the application by Mr Sampa is an abuse of the court process.
In this matter, Mr Sampa asked the court for an order of interim injunction restraining Mr Lungu from holding out as president of the PF and from presenting the certificate of adoption to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
Mr Justice Chali said in his ruling that Mr Sampa’s actions had been overtaken by a consent judgment which was approved and declared Mr Lungu as the president of the PF.
Mr Justice Chali added that Mr Sampa’s election was said to be illegal, null and void and that there is a caveat judgment restraining the secretary-general of the PF from having another person elected or declared as presidential candidate.
“It appears by the time the plaintiff herein filed his action, a judgment by consent had already been filed and approved and signed by Madam Justice M.S Mulenga. That judgment declared Edgar Lungu president of the PF,” Mr Justice Chali said.
He said there has been a flurry of ‘political cases’ before the courts between members of some political parties over, among other issues, the mode of electing party leaders and their potential candidate for the forthcoming election.
“Those cases have been widely reported in both the print and electronic media and online publications. The plaintiff [Mr Sampa] in this case ought to have been aware of the earlier cases that I have cited, including the result,” Mr Justice Chali said.
He noted that bringing a separate action on the matter, which has already been adjudicated upon, was an abuse of court process.
“The plaintiff has abused the process of the court. I further find that allowing this case to proceed any further would bring the administration of justice into disrepute among right-thinking people,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Sampa filed an affidavit in support of inter parte summons for leave for an order of consolidation of actions.
Mr Sampa wanted the court to join the matter in which a consent order was granted, saying the rights to relief claimed in the two matters arise out of a series of the same transactions.
He submitted that there are some common questions of law and fact that arise in both of them.
Mr Sampa added that the matters should be joined to avoid multiplicity of actions.
Meanwhile, three presidential hopefuls yesterday asked the High Court to join as interveners in the matter where the court ordered that Mr Lungu is the PF’s sole presidential candidate in the January 20 presidential election.
On Wednesday, High Court judge Mugeni Mulenga ordered, through a consent judgment, that Mr Lungu is the duly-elected PF president and the party’s sole candidate in the January 20 presidential election.
This was after signing a consent judgment in which PF national chairperson Inonge Wina sued the party’s secretary-general Davies Chama.
But Kasama Central member of Parliament (MP) Geoffrey Mwamba, Mr Sampa and PF member Seleman Phangula, said they were not given an opportunity to participate in the election, which picked Mr Lungu.
This is contained in an affidavit in support of summons to join party as intervener sworn in by Mr Mwamba and signed by Mr Sampa and Captain Phangula.
“The said consent judgment upheld the election of one Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, an election in which none of the other contestants had an opportunity to participate. The other intending interveners and I are affected by the said consent judgment,” Mr Mwamba said
He said following Mr Lungu’s election, he has been passing off as the PF president and presidential candidate in the January 20 election.
Mr Mwamba said Mrs Wina on December 1, 2014 granted an adoption certificate to Mr Lungu.
He said the court entered into a consent judgment on Tuesday, which affected the second PF elections, which were held on December 1.
In law, intervention is a procedure to allow a non-party, called intervener to join ongoing litigation, either as a matter of right or at the discretion of the court, without the permission of the original litigants.
The basic rationale for intervention is that a judgment in a particular case may affect the rights of non-parties, who ideally should have the right to be heard.
Earlier, Mrs Justice Mulenga recused herself from hearing the matter in which Mr Sampa was seeking a declaration to render the election of Mr Lungu null and void.
When the matter came up yesterday, Mrs Justice Mulenga recused herself from the matter and ordered that it should be sent to High Court judge-in-charge Isaac Chali for re-allocation.