LEGAL and governance activist Isaac Mwanza says former ministers and deputies who illegally stayed in office when parliament adjourned in 2016 must respect Court judgment and pay back the money.

In an interview with Radio Phoenix, Mr Mwanza said the former Ministers are capable of paying back the money as ordered by the Constitutional Court as already indicated by those who have shown willingness to pay.

Mr. Mwanza states that the matter of ministers having illegally stayed in office has dragged and ministers should have prepared well to refund the money than giving excuses now because they knew well that they were against the law.

This is in a matter where the constitutional court has ruled that cabinet ministers and deputy ministers who remained in office after the dissolution of parliament in 2016 to pay back salaries and allowances they received.

And Mr Mwanza has bemoaned the double standards by some civil society organisations, political parties and some church groups when it comes to resecting court judgments.

Legal Activist Isaac Mwanza and YALI President Andrew Ntewewe arrives for Press Briefing

“When it comes to demanding respect for the decisions of the Constitutional Court on the former Ministers, the church and some NGOs have a loudmouth demanding for this respect but when it comes to eligibility judgment and prisoners voting in 2021, they become real cowards,” said Mwanza.

Mr Mwanza said the UPND can be forgiven for playing that kind of games because they are in politics.

“Politics has no consistence at all and that is what UPND is doing but for the Church, NGOs and some lawyers, they can’t be seen to be that inconsistent and selective when it comes to which judgments of the same court they must respect,” he said.

He said the prisoners right to vote was the decision of the Court and not the Electoral Commission of Zambia.

Mr Mwanza also said the issue of term limits and two terms was already interpreted by the Constitutional Court and Article 52 of the Constitution does not even include moving a Court to interpret Article 106 on the tenure of office.

He has advised those who are aggrieved by the Dan Puke judgment to go to court now because bringing a matter under Article 52 won’t tell them at all.

“For most of us, the eligibility of President Lungu is a closed matter and people should focus on campaigns than losing precious time on a matter which will go anywhere during after the nomination in May 2021,” said Mwanza