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Speaker’s decision to accept Chabinga as leader of opposition in Parliament attracts lawsuit against her.



SPEAKER of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti has been sued in the Constitutional Court in connection with her decision to accept Robert Chabinga as leader of the opposition in Parliament on the Patriotic Front (PF) ticket.

The petition has been filed by the Institute of Law, Policy Research and Human Rights Ltd.

The organisation has cited Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha as first respondent while Ms Mutti is the second respondent in the matter.

Institute of Law, Policy Research and Human Rights Ltd seeks interpretation whether, pursuant to Article 74(2) of the Constitution of Zambia Act number 2 of 2016, a leader of the opposition is elected or appointed by the political party with the largest number of seats in the National Assembly itself as a political party.

Further, it seeks an interpretation, pursuant to Article 74(2) of the Constitution of Zambia Act number 2 of 2016 it is the individual MPs belonging to the opposition political party with the largest number of seats in the National Assembly that elect a leader of opposition.

It also seeks interpretation whether pursuant to Article 74 (2) of the Constitution of Zambia Act number 2 of 2016, an opposition political party with the largest number of seats in the National Assembly can elect an MP from another political party or from among independent MPs as leader of the opposition.

Institute of Law, Policy Research and Human Rights Ltd deputy executive director Jameson Kachimwa submits that, that in line with objectives of the organization, it developed interest in events that happened recently in the National Assembly.


Mr Kachimwa submits that the issues of concern border on the appointment of a leader of the opposition.

“On November 1, 2023, the Speaker announced Robert Chabinga as the new Leader of the opposition in the national assembly.

“The above said facts are matters that are in public domain and are facts that arise from carrying out public functions which this court can take judicial notice of,” he submits.

Mr Kachimwa submits that the first question is whether it is the opposition political party with the largest number of seats that elect a leader of the opposition as a party itself.

“Since the preceding questions emanate from article 74(2) of the Constitution of Zambia has jurisdiction to interpret the said provisions and address the questions raised herein,” he submits.

Mr Kachimwa the organisation believes that once the court provided an interpretation in line with its mandate and addresses the questions raised, the matter shall be settled and the same shall serve as a guidance for future appointments or election of a Leader of opposition in the National assembly.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 14th November, 2023)


President Hichilema to continue living at Community House, as Concourt dismisses petition against his stay at the private house



THE Constitutional Court has dismissed for lack of a merit Patriots for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo’s petition challenging President Hakainde Hichilema’s continued stay at his private house instead of shifting to State House.

This means that the President will continue staying at his private Community House in New Ksama.

Passing judgment, Constitutional Court deputy judge president Arnold Shilimi  said the court found Mr Tembo’s petition to have lacked merit  because the constitution does not compel the President to move to Nkwazi House.

Further, the judge said the court found that Mr Tembo’s plea for the court to declare an order compelling the President to shift to State House is not tenable considering that no law that obliges the Head of State to reside at State House.

“We find that in the absence of any Constitutional provision or any other law that compels the President to reside at State House,and in light of the Respondent’s[Attorney General] submission on the dilapidated state of Nkwazi House requiring high cost of renovations.

“The alleged constitutional breaches relating to the President’s alleged refusal to shift to State House lacks merit and is misconceived,” Judge Shilima said on behalf of other judges who heard the case.

“We find that the alleged breach relating to the right to life is improperly before this court for want of jurisdiction over part iii of the constitution,” he added.

The court consequently dismissed the petition for lack of merit.

In this matter, Mr Tembo petitioned the Constitutional Court over President Hichilema’s refusal to relocate to State House since he was elected in August, 2021.

The politician had submitted that the President was spending huge sums of money through his trips from Community House to State House on a daily basis and putting at risk the safety of many Zambians on the route he is using to access his house.

He  further argued that the huge sums of money which was being used on a daily basis, about K126 million per year, could be channeled to other areas of need such as procurement of drugs in hospitals and books for readers in schools.

However, in reply, the State, through Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha, argued that the petition lacked merit because Mr Tembo  did not cite the particular article or law which mandates the president actually reside at State House.

He also argued that accommodation of the past Presidents at State House was only a matter of practice or custom and not law.

(Mwebantu, Saturday, 9th December, 2023)

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Masturbation comment invites Sean Tembo to court



PATRIOTS for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo has pleaded not guilty to using insulting language when he compared the intervention to sale cheaper ZNS mealie meal in the wake of escalating prices of the commodity prices to masturbation.

The outspoken businessman has been charged with use of insulting language which he allegedly uttered on October 17 this year, the eve of National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation.

Allegations are that on the material day, the accused said “Bally is selling a few bags of ZNS mealie meal using Shoprite, hoping to create a perception of low price is equal to masturbation”.

The sentiments are alleged to likely provoke Abel Mashowo, who reported the case, to break the law or commit any offence against Tembo.

When the case was called today, a magistrate readout the charged and asked the accused whether he understood it.

In response, Mr Tembo responded in the affirmative and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The court adjourned the case was adjourned to next month for commencement of trial.

(Mwebantu, Friday,  8th December, 2023)

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DPP wants more punishment for CK



THE State, through the Director of Public Prosecutions, Gilbert Phiri, has filed a notice to appeal against the five months sentence imposed of Chishimba Kambwili after he was found guilty of promoting hate speech by uttering tribal remarks.

On Thursday, Mr Kambwili, a Patriotic Front member of the central committee, was sentenced to five months imprisonment with hard labour.

This was after the Kasama Magistrate’s Court found him guilty of the offence of expressing or showing hatred, ridicule, or contempt for persons because of tribe or place of origin.

After being hailed, the politician appealed against the verdict and was later released on bail pending hearing of his appeal against the sentence.

But the DPP has filed a cross appeal seeking to challenge the five months jail term imposed on the outspoken former Roan MP.

Mr Phiri feels the sentence was too lenient and that when his application is being heard, he wants to be present in court..

“I, the above named appellant(DPP) , hereby give notice that I desire to appeal to the High Court against the sentence of the accused person.

I desire to be present when the court considers the appeal,” the notice of appeal, which has been circulated online, reads in part.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 7th December, 2023)

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