The Constitutional Court ruled on Monday that the ministers and their deputies were in office illegally and has since asked them to leave their offices.

The Patriotic Front (PF) said it will abide by the ruling of the Constitutional Court because it promotes the separation of powers in the governance of the country.

“The Constitutional Court plays an important role in, among other functions, the interpretation of ambiguous clauses whenever these arise. The decision therefore gives credence to a robust and independent judiciary that Zambia has where the courts can enter judgments against the state, contrary to assertions previously made by the opposition,” the ruling party said in a statement.

The decision of the court, the party said, was another confirmation that the ruling party trusts and respects the doctrine of separation of power as the basis of the country’s thriving democracy and the backbone of governance.

The matter was brought to the Constitutional Court in June this year by the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), an association representing lawyers, for determination after President Edgar Lungu’s government maintained that the ministers will not leave their offices as they will have to hand over to the new government after the August 11 general elections.

Ministers and their deputies had remained in office following the dissolution of parliament, a move that caused consternation among stakeholders.

Stakeholders have since welcomed the judgment of the court and have asked the ministers to immediately vacate their offices and start paying the money owed.

Hakainde Hichilema, the main opposition presidential candidate welcomed the decision and described the ministers’ continued stay in office as “daylight robbery”.

“In the first place, we advised that it was illegal for any PF minister to remain abusing public resources when the constitution does not allow to do so but as usual they declined. In line with that, we demand that all the PF ministers pay back what they have accumulated over their illegal stay in office with immediate effect and as ruled by the Constitutional Court,” he said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/News Ghana

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