Saturday, October 24, 2020

‘Court of Appeal intervention is premature’ – Unions

The country’s four public sector unions are this week expected to argue that the Court of Appeal President, Justice Ian Kirby, has no jurisdiction over a matter before him in which the government is appealing a High Court order to reinstate dismissed workers.

The government was to be granted a stay of execution by the Court of Appeal.

Further, Unions are expected to bring a contempt of court application.

“It is derogation for the Court of Appeal to interrogate a matter that has not been before the High Court. The Court of Appeal does not have a record of the case because it has not been provided by the High Court. It is not in a position to consider prospects of success unless it has been asked to pontificate,” Union lawyer, Mboki Chilisa of Collins Legal Consultants, told The Telegraph this week.

Union lawyers say they will argue that procedurally, the most competent forum is to move an application for stay of execution before Judge Key Dingake who heard the matter.

Last week Dingake ordered the government to reinstate fired essential workers. The government appealed the High Court decision at the Court of Appeal.

Several public sector workers who were fired last year were turned away as they tried to report for duty.

“It is rather odd for the government to have chosen to have an application of stay of execution at the Court of Appeal given that putting legal considerations the High Court is better placed to deal with the matter as has been the case in previous practice. In a nutshell, the matter must be referred to Justice Dingake to deal with,” according to Chilisa.

The government has said that it is appealing against Dingake’s judgement on the basis of ‘numerous errors of fact and law’.

Collins Newman & Company represents the government.

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