While everyone is going on blabbering about Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe the Zambian mass has not stopped to reflect on one of the monumental rulings to have come out of the Zambian judiciary. It is monumental in the sense that should it be applied it could set a template on which government leaders will abide by.
The landmark decision was initially delivered on August 8, 2016 that the ministers vacate office and refund the treasury what they used during the period they served illegally in office after parliament had been dissolved. Just in case anyone has forgotten the Constitutional Court had ruled that the ministers and their deputies vacate office with immediate effect and repay all the monies such as allowances and salaries they had been getting since Parliament was dissolved.
Two months earlier the Constitutional Court had refused to grant the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) an interlocutory injunction restraining Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers from continuing in office and receiving their emoluments.
However the former ministers had the Attorney General back them by challenging the decision.
But the Constitutional Court has stood its ground and maintained that the 64 ministers who stayed on in office after the dissolution of Parliament in 2016 must pay back the money they received during the period they illegally occupied their positions.
Attorney General Likando Kalaluka was reminded that since the said officials were no longer government ministers he had no right to represent them as it was now a private matter.
A panel of five Constitutional Court Judges made the ruling which was delivered by Judge Margaret Munalula and dismissed Kalaluka’s application saying it was against public interest that he was seeking to represent the ministers.
So what with such a landmark ruling that Zambians should be at the top of queue fuelling the unfolding Zimbabwe soap opera. Surely these are matters that should rile the Zambian public enough to demand refunds from former cabinet ministers.
Here is a case that could provide a reference point for current and future cabinet ministers to learn never to use public resources for politics. Imagine how much the country could recoup if this money is repaid by 64 former ministers and their deputies? How many times have the public complained about government ministers using public resources during campaigns?
Could this not be an opportunity to bury this matter once and for all? Why can’t people be so angry about the manner their money is abused instead of priding in idle gossip about what Mugabe is going to do next? Why not follow through progressive judicial landmark that should make every Zambian proud and instigate a sense of demanding justice from politics for once?