Harry Kalaba decides to pay back illegal salary

Harry Kalaba decides to pay back illegal salary

Foreign affairs minister Harry Kalaba has instructed Cabinet Office to find out modalities for paying back the money he and other PF officials obtained illegally after parliament was dissolved last year. The  full bench of Constitutional Court has upheld its earlier ruling that the ministers must reimburse all salaries and allowances gained during the time.

The Constitutional Court (ConCourt) last week upheld the ruling that the ministers who stayed in office after parliament was dissolved last year did so illegally and maintained that they must pay back the emoluments paid to them.

Last week’s ruling came following an application by the Attorney General, on behalf of the ministers, that the ConCourt should vacate the portion which ordered that they pay back the money obtained during their illegal stay in office.

Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili, who served as information minister before and after the August 11 elections but was fired in November, said it was President Edgar Lungu who should pay back because he was the one who instructed the ministers to stay in office when the law provided otherwise.

And President Lungu last Monday told the ministers during Cabinet meeting at State House that they should ignore the ConCourt ruling and not pay the money.

The Head of State further told the ministers to instead sue the state.

However, Kalaba has decided to obey the court order and has since written Cabinet, through the ministry’s permanent secretary, requesting for the mode of payment for all the salaries and allowances he received, according to Cabinet sources.

“We have a letter here from honorable Kalaba who has written through the PS instructing us to find out modalities in which he can pay back the money he got after Parliament was dissolved. The letter came through this (last) week after ConCourt ruling on the same. He is the only so far who has written us saying he wants to pay back. May be other ministers will do the same, we will see as we go on,”

said the source.

And when phoned to verify if he had written the letter, Kalaba, who sounded surprised,  reluctantly confirmed having made instructions to Cabinet over paying back the money.

“The competent court has ruled, who am I not to obey? I have no option in the matter, I respect the ruling,” said Kalaba in his brief comments yesterday.

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