Tanzania: Lissu's Application Comes for Ruling Today

APPLICATION by opposition leader Tundu Lissu against his dismissal from the National Assembly comes for ruling at the High Court today.

Former Singida East Member of Parliament (MP) had filed to challenge a decision by Speaker Job Ndugai to unseat him Singida East representative in the house.

Judge Sirilius Matupa is expected to deliver his verdict on the matter after going through competing submissions presented before him by counsel for the parties on whether or not the court should grant Lissu leave to apply for prerogative orders against the Speaker of the National Assembly and Attorney General (AG).

The prerogative orders sought include that of Certiorari for calling for the bringing up of the declaration made by the Speaker against Lissu, the applicant in the matter, to cease to be the MP for the purpose of quashing and setting it aside on its removal into the court.

Last week, Advocate Peter Kibatala, for the opposition leader, analysed three grounds upon which the court has to consider, including the applicant filing essential documents that established prima facie or arguable case to be determined during hearing of the application.

The other two conditions include whether the affidavit in support of the application contained true facts and the applicant himself showing interest in the matter.

According to the advocate, the facts contained in the two affidavits by Alute Mughwai and Lazaro Shedo established serious case for determination.

He also invited the court to look at the statement in support of the application, which detailed that when ruling on the matter, the Speaker breached key principles of natural justice, including condemning Lissu unheard and that he was not given reasons for the termination of his representation.

However, in their responses to the submissions, 12 state lawyers, led by Principal State Attorney Vicent Tango, Gerge Mandepo, Alicia Mbuya, Lucas Malunde and Abubakar Mlisha, among others, forcefully requested the court to dismiss the application for lacking merits.

They submitted that the application for leave lacked supporting facts and that the numerated conditions that needed to be taken into consideration by the court have not been met.

The state lawyers added two more conditions, including the possibilities of enforcement of orders and exhibiting good faith.

According to them, there were important paragraphs contained in the affidavits filed to support the application, which were expunged from the record by the court when determining some preliminary points raised by the state.

Having such paragraphs expunged, they submitted that the remaining paragraphs in the two affidavits contained insufficient facts to support the application, thus, remaining with no legs to stand on.

They submitted, therefore, that the application does not meet the set out conditions cumulatively.

They told the court that the submissions made by Kibatala relating to rule of principle of justice and on establishment of prima facie case and the question of stay order against the Speaker were based on facts contained in the paragraphs of the affidavits which were expunged from the records.

Certiorari is a court process to seek judicial review of a decision of a lower court or decisions of administrative bodies.

Is a rule of law remedy and supervisory writ, serving to keep all inferior jurisdictions within the bounds of their authority.

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