Just like we reported yesterday, Judge Isaac Chali last night refused to allow Civil Rights activist Brebner Changala permission to seek judicial review in the matter he is asking the court to constitute a medical board to examine the health of President Michael Sata.
Judge Chali instead poured scorn on Changala and said he has no interest in the matter but is just a ‘busy body’.
Chali explained that a mandamus order Changala was seeking is aimed at forcing a public body or person to perform a public duty where such a body has neglected or failed to do so.
In short, what this means is that the court has power to force a public body to perform a duty, which it is obliged to preform but decides not to.
But after explaining this so accurately, Chali decided to contradict himself by saying that the duty to constitute a medical board to examine Sata’s head and body is a discretion of cabinet.
In short judge Chali is saying the High Court (with unlimited jurisdiction) cannot compel cabinet to perform its public duty. To Judge Chali, that will be judicial interference of executive functions.
The simple question to Judge Chali then is, what purpose does a mandamus order serve at all if forcing cabinet to perform its duty is interference?
Chali said the application by Changala lacked merit and should be dismissed on grounds that it was frivolous and vexatious.
Chali further discredited the evidence provided by Changala, saying he was also not sure as to whether or not Cabinet did table the motion on the health of the President.
“I have studied the evidence on record and I must say that this application is accordingly dismissed as it is frivolous, vexatious and hopeless, it does not require further inquiry at the substantive inquiry,” Justice Chali said.
Honestly, if Judge Chali does not know whether or not cabinet tabled this motion, why dismiss the entire application instead of summoning the Secretary to Cabinet or the Attorney General to explain if the motion was tabled or not?