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Court adjourns Bill 10 ruling

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

THE Lusaka High Court has reserved ruling in a matter where leader of the opposition, Jack Mwiimbu, has asked the court to direct the Speaker of the National Assembly to stop deliberations in relation to Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 10 of 2019.

The matter came up for hearing before Justice Sharon Newa yesterday.

In this case, Mr Mwiimbu, who is UPND Monze Central Member of Parliament asked the court to allow him challenge the decision of the Speaker of the National Assembly of June 24 this year.

The Speaker had allowed debate on Constitutional Amendment Bill No 10 of 2019 to continue regardless of the fact that the Bill lapsed on June 4 this year.

Present at the hearing was Mr Mwiimbu’s lawyer Mulambo Haimbe while the State and the Speaker of the National Assembly were represented by Attorney General Likando Kalaluka, Chief State Advocate Joe Simachela, and  Principal State Advocate Francis Mwale.

After hearing arguments on both sides, Justice Newa reserved her ruling to a date to be advised.

Mr Haimbe argued that there was clearly a question as to the procedural propriety.

He said there was no legality and reasonableness in the manner in which the Speaker proceeded to make the impugned decision of June 24, 2020 in the face of the undisputed fact that the Bill had lapsed by that date.

Mr Haimbe also argued that there were substantive contentions which included the status of the bill after June, 4, 2020 in light of established National Assembly practice and procedure to the effect that it lapsed and was ‘killed’ six months after its deferment on December 4, last year.

Earlier, the National Assembly through its deputy Clerk, Cecilia Sikatele, want the matter thrown out for want of jurisdiction and that the Constitutional Court was the proper court to be seized with this matter.

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