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Friday, September 24, 2021

President Lungu orders former ministers to pay back what they owe to the Govt

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Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has said that he expects Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers who remained in office after Parliament was dissolved in 2016 to pay back salaries and allowances following the Constitutional Court’s ruling.

In a statement released to the media by his Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations, Isaac Chipampe, President Lungu said that decisions of the courts of law must be respected regardless of positions taken by different parties, hence his position that the affected individuals must pay.

“We all must respect the rule of law because no one is above the law. Therefore, the ruling of the Constitutional Court must be complied with, ” the President said

The President further said that his administration will always uphold Separation of Powers in respect of the Executive, the Judiciary, and the Legislature.

This week the former Cabinet ministers , their deputies and provincial ministers were given 30 days in which to pay back over K4.2 million which they got from the government in 2016.

In this case, Ngosa Simbyakula and 63 others are supposed to pay back a total of K4, 266,664.10 as salaries and allowances for May to July 2016.

This followed the court’s judgment of August 8, 2016 which ordered the ministers to pay back to the State all the allowances and salaries they received when Parliament was dissolved.

The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and UPND general secretary Stephen Katuka had challenged the continued stay of the ministers after parliament was dissolved ahead of the 2016 general elections and the case was decided in their favour.

Meanwhile, Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has advised all ministers and ex ministers who remained in office when parliament was dissolved in 2016 to adhere to the Constitutional Court ruling and pay the monies.

TIZ Executive Director Maurice Nyambe said that following the clarification by the Constitutional Court on the amounts to be paid by ministers, it is important that they pay so that the money can be channeled to other developmental areas.

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