THE Constitutional Court has ruled that the 21 days time frame for hearing the Kabushi and Kwacha petitions on nominations cannot be extended.
This is a matter in which United Party for National Development (UPND) aspiring Kabushi candidate Bernard Kanengo challeneged the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and the Attorney General over staying of the parliamentary by-elections which were to take place on September 15, this year.
However, the elections were stayed after former parliamentarians for Kabushi and Kwacha Bowman Lusambo and Joseph Malanji petitioned ECZ over rejection of their nomination papers on August 25th ,this year.
Mr Kanengo in his application told Constitutional Court that elections should go ahead as the 30 days prescribed in the Constitution in which to challenge the nominations had lapsed.
In his application through his Lawyer Chimuka Maggubwi, Mr Kanengo applied to the Constitutional Court to interpret article 52(4) of the Constitution of Zambia which provides for time frame within which the nomination of a candidate for parliamentary by-election should be filed and determined by the court.
Mr Maggubwi argued that from the time the nominations for Kabushi Constituency were done and whoever wanted to challenge the nominations had to do it within seven days of the nominations to challenge to the nomination, thereafter the court should have determined the challenge within 21 days.
He said the article clearly stated that the challenge to the nominations should be determined within 30 days from the date they were conducted.
Mr Maggubwi said there had been no challenge of the nominations and the 30 days had elapsed hence elections should go ahead within the 90 days as prescribed by the Constitution.
When the matter came up today for ruling, judges Judy Mulongotti, Mungeni Mulonda and Palan Mulonda ruled that the High Court had jurisdiction of which must be exercised within a 21 day time frame given under Article 52 (4) of the constitution.
They stated that according to that Article, the time frame could not be stopped nor enlarged by any court or authority.
“We wish to state that the Court of Appeal does not have jurisdiction to hear appeals to cases dealing whatsoever with Article 52 (4) of the constitution. Nevertheless, that stay order had it issued had to be obeyed even though erroneously issued and remains in force until discharged or set aside. Thus the High Court had to abide the Court of Appeal stay order and ran out of time as the 21 days have since expired. In the circumstance, for this case, we make no order to costs,” the court ruled.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 21st October, 2022)
Government to sink boreholes across the country
“WITH the current devastating climate change, the government is going flat out to sink boreholes and do crop irrigation across the country”, President Hakainde Hichilema has said.
The President said his administration is determined to ensure food security despite the challenging circumstances.
“We are determined to ensure that food security is attained even during these difficult times. Let us all get involved and get it solved. We shall overcome as God will do the rest,” he said.
President Hichilema urged citizens to actively participate in the efforts, stating the collective responsibility to overcome the challenges emanating from the dry spell.
Last week, President Hichilema declared the ongoing drought a national disaster, announcing a comprehensive set of measures to mitigate its impact.
The declaration was prompted by the destruction of one million hectares of farmland, affecting over one million households across the country.
(Mwebantu, Monday, 4th March, 2024)
‘Why are you pretending to be rich?’ HH asks Gov’t officials who insist on traveling on business class
PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has described government officials that prefer traveling on business class as cheats and pretenders.
The head of state has revealed that the country has limited resources and it does not make sense for a government official to move in business class at the expense of the treasury.
The president said following the declaration of a national disaster as a result of the prolonged dry spells, that there will be for prudent usage of resources.
“We will aggressively shift resources from consumption, wastage travel, and business class. Secretary to the treasury, I hear there are people who want to travel business class from Lusaka to Johannesburg?” he said, “for one hour 30 minutes [you want to be on business class], we sit on our stools for three hour we village people,”
He wondered what is wrong with a government official travelling on economy class.
What’s wrong with economy ticket for one hour 40 minutes, this is what I call pretence, for one hour 40 minutes you want to fell rich, that’s cheating,” the President said.
He said he has already given his cabinet the signal that there will be no more unnecessary travels.
“There will be no more of such things, including unnecessary travels, size of delegation, I sent this signal to my colleagues in cabinet and I have made this official, resources are limited, the question is how do we utlise the limited resources,” Mr Hichilema said.
Meanwhile, he warned that there will be accountability in the utilization of resources and those found wanting “Will be on their own”
(Mwebantu, Monday, 4th March, 2024)
House of Chiefs commends President Hichilema’s swift response to drought crisis.
TRADITIONAL leaders have commended President Hakainde Hichilema’s decisive action in addressing the drought.
House of Chiefs Chairperson Chief Chisunka said the President’s declaration is a timely and crucial step in mobilising resources and support to mitigate the impact of this drought on the affected communities.
Dr Chisunka said the effects of climate change, particularly the prolonged dry spells and erratic rainfall patterns, have posed unprecedented challenges to agricultural systems, water sources, and, most importantly, the livelihoods of people.
He underscored the urgent need for collaborative efforts to mitigate the challenges posed by climate change.
Dr Chisunka said the traditional leadership is committed to supporting the government and ensuring coordinated relief efforts.
“As traditional leaders, we commend President Hakainde Hichilema for his swift and decisive action in recognizing the gravity of the situation and marking our country’s debilitating drought as a national disaster and emergency. Together, we can overcome this crisis and emerge stronger and more resilient than before. We will continue to work together to build a better and brighter future for all our people,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Sunday, 3rd March, 2024)