State lines up 15 lawyers to block Lissu plea

Saturday August 24 2019

Advocate Allute Mughwai (right) and Vicent

Advocate Allute Mughwai (right) and Vicent Lissu, both relatives of Chadema director of legal affairs Tundu Lissu at the High Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday. PHOTO | SAID KHAMIS 

By James Magai @TheCitizenTZ news@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. State lawyers yesterday asked the High Court to dismiss an application in which former Singida East MP Tundu Lissu is seeking permission to challenge the decision of Parliament to strip him of his seat.

Mr Lissu’s application came for hearing before judge Sirilius Matupa yesterday when the State through the Solicitor General (SG) raised nine preliminary objections, asking the court to dismiss it without being heard.

The Solicitor General, Dr Clement Mashamba led a team of 15 state lawyers on behalf of other respondents to ask the court to throw out Mr Lissu’s request, arguing that an affidavit supporting the application was defective.

The AG argues that the affidavit contained many matters which are irrelevant to the application instead of containing matters of facts only.

The state lawyers say the affidavit also contains prayers and legal arguments which were not supposed to be raised in the affidavit at this stage of the petition.

Following the objections, the court adjourned hearing of the Singida East MP. The state attorneys also alleged that Lissu’s petition was not supported by the parliamentary decision which he is complaining against.

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Two weeks ago, Lissu filed under certificate of urgency the application to reclaim his seat through his brother Alute Mughwai whom he has given legal powers to represent him in court.

But yesterday, Dr Mashamba argued that Mr Mughwai has no locus standi to represent Lissu because the power of attorney was defective. “There is no statement in court indicating that he (Mr Mughwai) has been authorised to do so on the applicant’s (Lissu) behalf,” argued the AG.

Respondents in the application no 18 of 2019 filed by Lissu are the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Attorney General. Lissu wants the court to compel the Speaker to annul Parliament’s decision. He has also sought orders for the court to suspend swearing-in of the new Singida East MP-elect Mr Miraji Mtaturu (CCM).