Ex-NSSA boss seeks leave to approach ConCourt Robin Vela

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter

FORMER National Social Security Authority (NSSA) chairman Mr Robin Vela has approached the Constitutional Court seeking permission to contest the Supreme Court decision upholding the report from BDO Chartered Accountants that linked him in corrupt deals.

He is unhappy with the superior court for allegedly breaching his right to equal protection of the law and feels the apex court is now the only place where his constitutional rights can be vindicated.

Mr Vela is challenging the Supreme Court ruling on Friday last week that allowed BDO’s appeal against a High Court judgment, quashing the audit report against him.

In the judgment, the Supreme Court allowed BDO’s appeal on the basis that the accounting firm was not an administrative authority and therefore its report cannot be revised.

Mr Vela regarded the ruling as a violation of rights.

He has since signed up lawyers comprising Professor Lovemore Madhuku, Advocate Lewis Uriri and Adv Method Ndlovu instructed by Mutamangira and Associates, to argue the matter.

In his application filed at the Constitutional Court on Wednesday, Mr Vela asks the court to set aside the judgment of the court below and ordering that the appeal made by BDO be dismissed because it could not appeal when it had no judgment against it and, secondly, that the judgment of the Supreme Court infringed on his rights.

Mr Vela argues that by making a finding that BDO was not an administrative authority and did not carry out an administrative act within the meaning of the Administrative Justice Act, the Supreme Court denied him a right to access justice in breach of the constitution.

“Access to justice is one of the rights which are constitutionally guarded.

“The (audit) report is detrimental to my good standing.

“There can be no debate about that and the Supreme Court deliberately eschewed to deal with the substantive correctness of the impugned report,” he argued.

Mr Vela said as long there is a finding against him he should be allowed to challenge the same.

“I am advised that at law, where there is a right there is a remedy.

“The judgment of the Supreme Court totally shuts the door and simply says that the first respondent (NSSA) had the last say on the matter and I cannot speak on it.

“By refusing to subject the report to challenge before it, the Supreme Court mischievously pulled the proverbial carpet from underneath my feet and negated my right to be heard.”

The Supreme Court, argued Mr Vela could not allow a report which was made in violation of rules of natural justice to stand.

The judgment affords life to a report which runs afoul of the constitutional provisions, argued Mr Vela.

“I have no alternative remedies outside direct access to this court,” he said.

“As the infringement of my rights was at the behest of the Supreme Court, the High Court cannot hear this case.”

The question for determination in this case is one that is key to law of the country.

It is whether or not the decision of the NSSA carried out through the medium of the other parties can be challenged in terms of the provisions of the Administrative Justice Act.

So, the apex court is required to make a definitive pronouncement on delegation of Constitutional powers by the Auditor General and whether BDO acted under the Auditor General’s authority and then whether the investigation constituted reviewable action.

The High Court had dismissed BDO report on NSSA as biased, incompetent and riddled with inaccuracies in the case in which Mr Vela had contested the audit report on the basis that in carrying out the audit, the accounting firm was exercising public power.

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