STATEMENT BY HON. KENNEDY SAKENI ON THE CANCELLATION OF THE UPND KANYAMA RALLY
It is very clear that our colleagues in the opposition UPND are creating a hullabaloo over nothing because the events or circumstances leading to the cancellation of their Kanyama rally are clear. Our colleagues always seem to be basing their actions on very poor legal advice.
It would therefore, not do for Mr. Hakainde Hichilema and Mr. Charles Milupi to continue displaying emotions and adolescence when handling important national matters of governance.
Although politically inexperienced, Mr. Hichilema and Mr. Milupi must know that the Zambia Police Service is a well-organized and disciplined security establishment, which follows the laws of the land to the letter. Thus, hate speech and isolated verbal attacks on the Police command and the service in general is nothing but a worthless exercise.
As a Government, we fully support the impartial manner in which the Police handled this matter. And we would like to advise Mr. Hichilema and Mr. Milupi to seek proper legal advice before displaying ignorance like they did over the weekend. Let them be mindful that this habitual and embarrassing display of reckless bravado will not add any value to their status or political ambitions.
The salient facts
When Police notified the UPND that they were unable to police the proposed rally adequately due to manpower shortage, the UPND went to court and obtained an exparte order for leave to apply for judicial review on 7th September 2012. The action, taken out in cause No. 2012/HP/1037 was between the Secretary General of UPND and the Attorney General. In part the order read:
“IT IS ORDERED that the application be allowed and the said applicant do have leave to apply for judicial review as aforesaid. The court further directs that all decisions, proceedings now being challenged, including the decision to cancel the rally of the 9th September, 2012, be stayed until after hearing of the motion for judicial review herein or until further order and that the said rally go ahead.”
The order was signed by Hon. Justice J. Chashi.
The said order was not saved on the Attorney General as the Respondent on the 7th September 2012 when it was made. Instead it was served on the Zambia Police Service on Saturday 8th September 2012.
The legal position
The legal position regarding service of documents is well set out in the High Court Rules. Service of court documents is good service on the Attorney General if the document is left at the Attorney General’s office.
However, although under the Rules service cannot be done on Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas day only, service of the document by leaving a copy at the office of the Attorney General on a Saturday afternoon or delivering a copy to the Attorney General’s house after 21 hours on Saturday, is technically irregular. UPND should have endeavoured to serve the order on the Attorney General during working hours on a working day.
In any event this being a judicial review matter the police should have been made party to the action because they made the decision and the order was directed at staying their decision. On the face of it the order does not say what the Attorney General who is the Respondent should or should not do.
As matters stand, the Police were not party to the court action and service on them was irregular. The Attorney General was likewise not properly saved in time for him to advise the Police. The whole service process was fraught with irregularities which made the observance of the order difficult.
Finally, I wish to state that both the Attorney General’s office and the Zambia Police respect any court order which is regular on the face of it irrespective of whether they agree with the order or not. Such order must however be properly served on the right party in the right manner.
HON. KENNEDY SAKENI
MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING AND CHIEF GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON