High Court Dismissal of MPGIS Minister’s Order Misleading: Order Remains Except Meeting Date
Claims by the Western Provincial Assembly Speaker that the High Court had dismissed orders by the Minister for Provincial Governments, Rollen Seleso were not only erroneous but fundamentally misleading.
In response to the claims, the Ministry today issued a statement clarifying that the agenda items for postponing the Assembly Meeting of the Western Province Assembly will proceed as ordered by the Minister.
“In fact there is no ‘dismissal’ on the order and despite the postponement of the Assembly meeting to 29th November 2021, as per the Order of the High Court, the order ruled that the agenda items of the proposed meeting will still stand according to the Ministerial Order,” the statement said.
This means the motion of no confidence against the Premier will proceed whether or not the Premier attends the Assembly meeting on the 29th of November 2021.
The Ministry clarified that it would be misleading to view that the Ministerial Order dated 5th of November 2021 was “thrown out” or “dismissed” by the Court Order.
The High Court only gave order for the change of date of the Assembly meeting and not an outright dismissal of the Ministerial Order.
The Minister previously ordered that the date of meeting should be on the 11th of November 2021, but the high court ordered it to be postponed to 29th November 2021. All agenda items remain the same. This should not be confused as highlighted by the Western Provincial Executive and some media statements.
The Ministry wishes to ensure that democratic processes need to be respected and that whatever actions or decisions taken by the Western Provincial Assembly and particularly its leaders should be respected.
It again calls for calm since there is likely a Motion of no confidence against the premier and the revised Budget session for the financial year 2021/2022.
Meanwhile, the Attorney-General after reviewing the Order has filed an Application to Set Aside the Orders made by the High Court. The Application will be heard when the High Court issues a return date.
In the meantime, the Ministry further calls on the Speaker and Executive to refrain from making statements that are not only erroneous but are fundamentally misleading.
SIBC News sighted a copy of the interim injunction/declaration orders made by the court on this issue on 9th September.
The Court noted the urgency of the interim orders-sought because the meeting called by the second Ministerial Order (Extra Ordinary Gazette Number 275 of 2021) subjected to this amended judicial review claim will proceed in 2 days’ time.
It further noted that the proper preparations for high level meetings are the duties of the Speaker and clerk to the Provincial Assemblies; working cooperatively with the responsible Ministry.
Justice John Keniapisia in accordance with rule 15.3.5 in a judicial review claim made the following orders
- The second Ministerial Order above referenced will be halted and amended on the following conditions below.
- Ministerial Orders (b); (C); (d); (e) and (f) will stand and will form the priority agendas for the meeting of the Western Provincial Assembly to be convened under Order (3) below.
- Ministerial Order (a) will be amended to read that the meeting of the Western Provincial Assembly will now be held on 29th November 2021 as already catered for under arrangements initiated by the office of the Speaker and Clerk to the said Assembly.
- Any Provincial Assembly Member or officers of the relevant Ministry are expected to adhere to the letter and spirit of the orders made herein and to cooperate with the office of the Speaker in facilitating the said meeting.
- Costs in the cause.
- Reasons for these orders will be made in a written decision to follow suit.