Sata’s barbaric attempt to block benefits of Supreme Court judge challenged

Sata’s barbaric attempt to block benefits of Supreme Court judge challenged

chirwa

Judge Chirwa with RB

RETIRED Supreme Court judge Dennis Chirwa has applied for leave to commence
judicial review proceedings over President Michael Sata’s decision to withhold
his benefits and entitlements.
And justice Chirwa wants the Lusaka High Court
to stay President Sata’s decision until after the hearing of the
motion.
Lusaka High Court judge Fulgence Chisanga has set May 2 as the date
of hearing the matter.
According to a statement on application for extension
of time for applying for leave for judicial review filed in the Lusaka High
Court by his lawyers Malambo and Company on April 24, 2013, Justice Chirwa is
seeking an order declaring as invalid, void and of no effect the decision of the
President, which was communicated to the Judiciary in a memorandum dated August
30, 2012 from the Secretary to the Treasury to the chief administrator of the
Judiciary that his fuel allowance, domestic servants and any other benefit to be
paid to him be withheld with immediate effect.
Justice Chirwa stated the
decision was also irrational and without justifiable reasons.
He stated that
it was also illegal and wrong at law, adding that it was contrary to natural
justice.
Justice Chirwa wants the court to direct the Minister of Finance to
restore benefits due and payable to him by paying all the outstanding benefits
with interest.
He stated that in the alternative, he seeks damages arising
from the matters with interest; any other relief the court may deem fit plus
costs.
Justice Chirwa explained in his affidavit verifying facts that he
worked for the government for 42 years, of which 33 years were on the
bench.
He stated that on May 14, 2012, he wrote to President Sata, giving six
months’ notice of his retirement on November 11, 2012.
He further stated that
President Sata accepted his notice of retirement and thanked him for the
services he rendered.
Justice Chirwa stated that a situation arose where
members of the public and others interested in the Judiciary called for reforms
and the resignation of the Chief Justice.
He stated that judges held a
meeting over the same development and it was resolved that he leads a delegation  to meet the President.
Justice Chirwa added that after the meeting, President  Sata rang him and told him that after the Chief Justice leaves, people would
turn against him and suggested that he proceeds on leave as he had leave  days.
He stated that he told President Sata he had a lot of judgments to  write before retiring but the President suggested he writes the judgments whilst
on leave.
Justice Chirwa stated that he told the President that he was not  going to be on leave because he was still going to be writing the
judgments.
He stated that President Sata on June 14, 2012 gave him special  dispensation to immediately proceed on leave and granted him additional
entitlements.
Justice Chirwa said he handed over office to justice Florence  Mumba and met the Chief Justice, whom he informed about the development, saying
the latter expressed worry over the number of judgments pending.
He stated  that it later came to his attention that his servants were removed from the  payroll and when he talked to the acting chief administrator, he was shown a
letter from the Secretary to the Treasury, ordering the stoppage of salaries to  his servants and fuel allowances.
“The decision to withhold my emoluments has  never been communicated to me officially but I came to know of it when my
bankers informed me that no credits representing my emoluments had been made in  my banking accounts,” justice Chirwa stated.
He further stated that his salary had also been withdrawn and he had not been paid his salary and monthly
pension since August 2012.
Justice Chirwa stated that he engaged lawyers to  follow up the matter administratively but no positive result had been achieved.
He said President Sata’s action to direct the withholding of his  salary and pension payments were violative of his entitlements particularly that
there was no offence he committed.

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