The hearing of the preliminary issues raised by the Attorney General in the Constitutional Case number 3 of 2021, concluded yesterday with the Attorney General pounding a nail of shame on the forehead of lawyer representing the DPP.
The former Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Samuel Tembenu, who is representing the DPP alongside the former Attorney General, Charles Mhango, was caught in an act of attempting to mislead the court with a lie.
Tembenu argued that once certified as constitutional matter, the court has no powers to dismiss the it in preliminary objections. He submitted that WILSA case is a case authority asserting that principle. He claimed that in WILSA case, the Court override preliminary objections that highlighted serious irregularities and allowed the case proceed to a full hearing on basis that it was certified as a Constitutional matter.
But the Attorney General, Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda, in his response yesterday blasted the former Justice Minister and exposed his lies that were meant to mislead the Court.
Nyirenda told the Court that Counsel Tembenu submitted lies about the case, saying he is fully aware of the facts and fate of the WILSA case because he was, in fact, the defendant counsel after being assigned to argue on behalf of the Attorney General while Tembenu was representing the Claimant.
“That case My Ladies and My Lords, the Court did not proceed. The Court dismissed the Originating Motions with costs. The Counsel misled the Court when he said the case proceeded,” Nyirenda said.
He submitted that Tembenu intentionally misled the Court and pleaded with the Court to start looking at such intentional lies as punishable offences.
“Perhaps it’s high time we made it criminal for Counsel to lie in important matters like this one,” the Attorney General suggested to the Court.
The WILSA case, which was commenced by Originating Motion after the Chief Justice had certified the matter as Constitutional, was dismissed on an account that the Applicants lacked locus standi, therefore the case was moot and merely academic in nature. Tembenu, who was representing the Applicants, lost the case to Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda who was arguing on behalf of the Attorney General.
Written by Sean Chilunga
Edited by Innocent Ian Marshal