Thursday, 13 May, 2021

Tanzania: State’s Bid to Block Lissu Case Flops At the High Court

Dar es Salaam — The High Court yesterday dismissed a request by the State to block the hearing of an application in which former Singida East MP Tundu Lissu (Chadema) has sought to challenge the decision to strip him off his seat.

The ruling means the court will now proceed with the hearing of Mr Lissu’s application in which he wants the court to compel the Speaker of the National Assembly to annul the decision to declare his seat vacant.

In the application that was filed under certificate of urgency by his brother Alute Mughwai, the outspoken MP has also sought orders to suspend the swearing-in of the Singida East MP-elect, Mr Miraji Mtaturu (CCM).

The court decision came following eight preliminary objections raised last Friday by the State through the Solicitor General who led a team of 14 other lawyers to ask the court to dismiss the application unheard.

Yesterday, Justice Sirillius Matupa refused to uphold the objections and set September 2nd as the date for hearing of the application.

State lawyers wanted the application turned down on grounds that it was not supported by the parliamentary decision which Mr Lissu is complaining against. However, Justice Matupa dismissed the argument saying it was not a legal requirement to do so.

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They also argued that Mr Mughwai has no locus standi to represent Lissu because the power of attorney was defective. But Justice Matupa said the power of attorney was part of affidavit which is an evidence and could not be objected through the preliminary objections.

“I’m convinced by Peter Kibatala that the affidavit is an evidence which cannot be rejected through preliminary objections. As long as someone took an oath, the only way to challenge is bringing an opposing affidavit,” he said.

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