FORMER President Edgar Lungu has gone to court to challenge Government’s decision to prevent him from flying to South Korea for peace summit.
According to Court documents filed in the Lusaka High Court by his lawyer Makebi Zulu, on September 16, 2023, the Director General of Zambia Department of immigration through its officer namely Linda Mtonga denied Mr Lungu to exit Zambia to enable him to travel to South Korea on invitation to attend the Peace Summit.
Mr Zulu stated that the reason for the refusal was that he can only travel upon being allowed to do so by cabinet office.
“The Applicant therefore seeks to have the decision by the Zambia Department of Immigration to be quashed,” he submitted.
Mr Zulu said the decision of the Zambia Department of Immigration is illegal in so far as it denied the former President exit out of the country to attend a summit in South Korea without any reasons.
“That the decision of the Director General of Immigration to refuse the Applicant to travel on ground that he, the Applicant needed clearance from cabinet office a procedure that does not exist is Wednesbury Unreasonable; That the decision by the Director General of Immigration is in breach of his functions and duties under the immigration and deportation Act No.18 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia,” he argued.
Mr Zulu further asked the court to stay the decision by the Director General of Immigration and order for a refund of the cost of the air tickets.
And in a statement sworn by the former Head of State, Mr Lungu said sometime in early September, this year, he received an invitation to attend a World Peace Summit in Seoul, South Korea.
He said the summit was sponsored in full by the inviting party and no money was spent by the Government of the Republic of Zambia.
“Premised on this appointment I proceeded to prepare myself for travel and I was scheduled to travel on the 16th September, 2023 via Ethiopian Airways which was to depart at about 15 hrs. From Lusaka. That my passport is valid and I have used the same for travels elsewhere to foreign countries and I have a letter of invitation for the said summit. Now shown and produced is a copy of my passport and the letter of invitation,” he said.
Mr Lungu said on the 16th September he proceeded to the airport immigration check point where he was stopped from traveling as the officers informed him that they were making calls as to whether I could travel or not.
“I was then advised by the immigration officer to wait for a go ahead from their superior. That moments later a Ms Linda Mtonga came through and informed me that there was an instruction from the “High office” to not allow me to travel and that I could only travel with permission from cabinet office
I thereafter made an inquiry as to why that instruction had been given and which higher officer was being referred to but the said Ms Linda Mtonga told me that she could not disclose the name of the person that gave the instruction and what she said was enough. I am advised by my Advocates and verily believe the same to be true, that the decision of the Director General of Immigration or whoever made the decision is unreasonable, illegal and procedurally improper,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Monday, 18th September, 2023)
President Hichilema to continue living at Community House, as Concourt dismisses petition against his stay at the private house
THE Constitutional Court has dismissed for lack of a merit Patriots for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo’s petition challenging President Hakainde Hichilema’s continued stay at his private house instead of shifting to State House.
This means that the President will continue staying at his private Community House in New Ksama.
Passing judgment, Constitutional Court deputy judge president Arnold Shilimi said the court found Mr Tembo’s petition to have lacked merit because the constitution does not compel the President to move to Nkwazi House.
Further, the judge said the court found that Mr Tembo’s plea for the court to declare an order compelling the President to shift to State House is not tenable considering that no law that obliges the Head of State to reside at State House.
“We find that in the absence of any Constitutional provision or any other law that compels the President to reside at State House,and in light of the Respondent’s[Attorney General] submission on the dilapidated state of Nkwazi House requiring high cost of renovations.
“The alleged constitutional breaches relating to the President’s alleged refusal to shift to State House lacks merit and is misconceived,” Judge Shilima said on behalf of other judges who heard the case.
“We find that the alleged breach relating to the right to life is improperly before this court for want of jurisdiction over part iii of the constitution,” he added.
The court consequently dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
In this matter, Mr Tembo petitioned the Constitutional Court over President Hichilema’s refusal to relocate to State House since he was elected in August, 2021.
The politician had submitted that the President was spending huge sums of money through his trips from Community House to State House on a daily basis and putting at risk the safety of many Zambians on the route he is using to access his house.
He further argued that the huge sums of money which was being used on a daily basis, about K126 million per year, could be channeled to other areas of need such as procurement of drugs in hospitals and books for readers in schools.
However, in reply, the State, through Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha, argued that the petition lacked merit because Mr Tembo did not cite the particular article or law which mandates the president actually reside at State House.
He also argued that accommodation of the past Presidents at State House was only a matter of practice or custom and not law.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 9th December, 2023)
Masturbation comment invites Sean Tembo to court
PATRIOTS for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo has pleaded not guilty to using insulting language when he compared the intervention to sale cheaper ZNS mealie meal in the wake of escalating prices of the commodity prices to masturbation.
The outspoken businessman has been charged with use of insulting language which he allegedly uttered on October 17 this year, the eve of National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation.
Allegations are that on the material day, the accused said “Bally is selling a few bags of ZNS mealie meal using Shoprite, hoping to create a perception of low price is equal to masturbation”.
The sentiments are alleged to likely provoke Abel Mashowo, who reported the case, to break the law or commit any offence against Tembo.
When the case was called today, a magistrate readout the charged and asked the accused whether he understood it.
In response, Mr Tembo responded in the affirmative and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The court adjourned the case was adjourned to next month for commencement of trial.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 8th December, 2023)
DPP wants more punishment for CK
THE State, through the Director of Public Prosecutions, Gilbert Phiri, has filed a notice to appeal against the five months sentence imposed of Chishimba Kambwili after he was found guilty of promoting hate speech by uttering tribal remarks.
On Thursday, Mr Kambwili, a Patriotic Front member of the central committee, was sentenced to five months imprisonment with hard labour.
This was after the Kasama Magistrate’s Court found him guilty of the offence of expressing or showing hatred, ridicule, or contempt for persons because of tribe or place of origin.
After being hailed, the politician appealed against the verdict and was later released on bail pending hearing of his appeal against the sentence.
But the DPP has filed a cross appeal seeking to challenge the five months jail term imposed on the outspoken former Roan MP.
Mr Phiri feels the sentence was too lenient and that when his application is being heard, he wants to be present in court..
“I, the above named appellant(DPP) , hereby give notice that I desire to appeal to the High Court against the sentence of the accused person.
I desire to be present when the court considers the appeal,” the notice of appeal, which has been circulated online, reads in part.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 7th December, 2023)