THE Lusaka High Court has dismissed an application by former Ministry of Health human resource officer Henry Kapoko for the court to determine the constitutionality of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) managing his assets despite him not being convicted.
In this matter, Mr Kapoko sued the Attorney-General through a petition filed in the High Court, asking the court to determine the constitutionality of the ACC taking over the management of his assets before he was convicted.
The Attorney-General asked the court to dismiss the application for irregularity as it challenges an order of the magistrate court in criminal proceedings and that the petition was commenced as an interlocutory appeal instead of Mr Kapoko appealing against the said order.
High Court judge Mwila Chitabo dismissed the petition on grounds that the application was erroneously before the court.
He said the High Court has no jurisdiction to hear an interlocutory appeal when trial was still ongoing.
“The court has no jurisdiction to hear an interlocutory appeal when there is a pending criminal trial in the lower court, therefore, the application to raise preliminary issues on a point of law succeeds and the matter is dismissed,” he said.
Mr Justice Chitabo said grievances on decisions of the lower court are brought to the High Court by way of appeal and not petition, adding that the High Court has no jurisdiction to hear a matter that is still in the subordinate court.
“It is trite law that the High Court has no jurisdiction to determine interlocutory appeals made by an accused person or the prosecution on rulings made in the course of pending criminal trials in courts below,” Mr Justice Chitabo said.