Ten Barotse inquiry commissioners sue state

TEN commissioners who inquired into the Mongu riots have sued the Attorney-General (AG) in the Lusaka High Court for alleged failure to pay them their allowance of K1.300.000.00 each after completing the assignment.

In 2011, President Michael Sata appointed a commission of inquiry to probe Mongu riots in which it suspected some people who were calling for Western Province self-rule were killed.

Lusaka lawyer, Henry Chilufya Chanda and nine others have sued the Attorney-General for alleged failure to pay them K1,300.000.00 each since 2011 when they were appointed by the Head of State.

In the statement of claims filled in the Lusaka High Court, Mr Chanda stated that his team completed the assignment and a comprehensive report was presented to President Sata at State House.

He said after the assignment, each member of his team was supposed to be paid K1,300.000.00 but despite several meetings between members of the commission and officials at Cabinet Office, one of which was attended by the Attorney-General, they have not received the money to date.

Mr Chanda alleged that at one of the meetings, the Attorney-General confirmed that money was received from the Treasury but that it was used for other purposes.

He said what was shocking was that the amount to be paid to the commissioners was negligible as each petitioner was only entitled to K1, 300,000.00.

Mr Chanda  said it was for this reason that the petitioners had no option but to take this course of action  and ask the court for a  declarate that the deliberate refusal by the Attorney-General to pay the petitioners their allowances  was illegal.

To this effect the petitioners are praying for an order directing the Attorney-General to pay each petitioner a sum of K1, 300.000.00.

They are demanding that each sum to carry a current Bank of Zambia interest rate from date of the petition up to the date of actual payment.

The petitioners also claim an order directing the respondent to pay K 5,000.00 as costs occasioned by the proceedings.

Daily Nation

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