The government has been given 14 days to conclude its defence in a case opened by Kigoma Urban Member of Parliament Mr Zitto Kabwe, who is challenging the removal of Professor Mussa Assad as the controller and auditor general.
In the case, which was opened at Mwanza and later shifted to Dar es Salaam, Mr Kabwe claims that Prof Assad was unlawful removed from office.
In the case number 1 of 2020 Mr Kabwe claims that the former CAG was removed from office before the expiry of his term. Professor Assad was sacked by President John Magufuli in November 2019 and replaced by Mr Charles Kichere.
The case was first heard at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court yesterday. The firebrand MP filed the case against the President, attorney general and the new Controller and Auditor General.
The High Court summon dated January 21, 2020, which was seen by The Citizen, says the miscellaneous civil case will be heard before Judge Mlacha Masoud Masabo on January 28, 2020 at 9am.
In this case, Mr Kabwe is represented by advocate Rugemeleza Nshala, who doubles as Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) president, and Nyaronyo Mwita Kicheere.
Mr Kabwe, who is the Kigoma Urban legislator-cum-ACT Wazalendo party leader, prays for the court to declare that provisions of section 6(1) of the Public Audit Act No 11 of 2008 is unconstitutional as it violates provisions of Article 144 (1) of the country’s constitution.
Mr Kabwe also prays that the section is incompatible with section 6(2(a)) of the Public Audit Act No 11 of 2008 that extended the CAG’s tenure of office from 60 years to 65 years in line with Article 144(1) of the Constitution.
He demands that the removal of Prof Assad as CAG citing expiry of his tenure was unconstitutional as he had not reached the mandatory retirement age of 65 years as stipulated by the constitution and sections of the law.
he demanded that the High Court should declare Prof Assad as a substantive holder of the CAG office because he has not reached the mandatory retirement age of 65 years and that Mr Kichere is not the country’s CAG. In the foundation of the case, Mr Kabwe states that provisions of section 6(1) of the Public Audit Act No 11 violate Article 144(1) of the Constitution, which provides the mandatory retirement age of the CAG as 65 years upon enactment of section 65(2) of the Public Audit Act No 11 of 2008.
Mr Kabwe further argues since Article 26(1) of the Constitution requires every person to respect and uphold the Constitution, the removal of Prof Assad due to expiration of five-year term violates Article 144(1) of the Constitution that set the term of office to be 60 years before being increased to 65 years by the Parliament.