Lungu tells ministers to ignore court order, keep illegal payments

Lungu tells ministers to ignore court order, keep illegal payments

Edgar Lungu has instructed his ministers to ignore the ruling of the Constitutional Court and not pay back the money they got when they stayed in office illegally after dissolution of Parliament last year.
After Parliament was dissolved last year ahead of the August 11 general elections, President Lungu told all his ministers not to vacate office because he was the one who had appointed them.
But on August 8, three days before the elections, the Constitutional Court made a ruling following an application by the Law Association of Zambia on the ministers’ stay office that all ministers did so illegally and ordered that they pay back all allowances and salaries received during that time.
But the ministers appealed the ruling through the Attorney General, asking the ConCourt to vacate a portion which asked the ministers to pay back the money.
However, the ConCourt has upheld its earlier ruling that the ministers were wrong to stay in office and maintained the order that they pay back the money received during their illegal stay.
But President Lungu on Monday told the ministers during Cabinet meeting at State House that they should not pay.
“During the Cabinet meeting ya this [last] week, ija nkhani yama ministers paying back the money they received after parliament was dissolved came up. Kaili these ministers, some of them have argued that they didn’t stay at their own will, they were instructed by H.E, so how can they be made to pay? So H.E just told them that they should ignore the ruling of the ConCourt, just like that. He even said the ministers should not pay back and should actually sue the state,”
a State House source narrated to The Mast.
The source said the manoeuvre, if implemented, will see the ministers evading the order that they pay back the money.
“This whole scheme is to make sure the ministers do not pay. What will happen is that the state and the ministers will end up entering a consent judgment on the matter and that will be the end,” said the source.
Last week, former information minister Chishimba Kambwili said President Lungu should be the one to pay back the money all his ministers got because he was the one who ordered them to stay in office against the constitutional provision.

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