By PERPETUAL SICHIKWENKWE –
THE Lusaka High Court has set January 15, 2016, as the date to hear former President Rupiah Banda’s case in which he is challenging the removal of his immunity by the National Assembly.
Attorney General Likando Kalaluka and Mr Banda’s lawyers have since entered into a consent judgment to have the hearing of the case speeded up.
This was contained in a consent order signed by Judge Annie Sitali.
In March 2013, Mr Banda sought judicial review challenging the decision of the Speaker of the National Assembly to lift his immunity so that he could be prosecuted.
Mr Banda asked the court to stop Parliament from considering the motion to strip him of his immunity, claiming he had not been given an opportunity to be heard.
He argued that the executive could not take before Parliament and debate the issue of lifting his immunity without hearing his side.
Ms Justice Sitali allowed Mr Banda to challenge the decision, but refused her order to operate as a stay of the decision of the Speaker.
While the State appealed to the Supreme Court over Ms Justice Sitali’s decision to grant Mr Banda the application to commence judicial review, the former Head of state on the other hand appealed against Ms Justice Sitali’s decision to order that it did not operate as a stay.
This year, the State and Mr Banda’s lawyers entered a consent judgment withdrawing both appeals from the Supreme Court.
It was in this vein that the two parties now entered into another consent calling for acceleration of hearing of the judicial review.
“Let all parties concerned attend before the honourable A.M. Sitali sitting in chambers on the 15th day of January, 2016, at 11:00 hours on the hearing of an application on the part of the applicant and respondent by way of consent for an expedited hearing for judicial review,” reads the consent order.
The order was entered into by Mr Kalaluka, Messrs Shamwana and Company, Messrs Eric Silwamba, Jalasi and Linyama Legal Practitioners, Messrs Central Chambers, and Messrs George Kunda and Company.