CHIEF State Advocate Josiah Simachela has asked the Constitutional Court to join the Attorney General to a petition where lawyer John Sangwa wants the Presidential/Running Mate affidavit to be amended.
Constitutional lawyer Sangwa on Tuesday filed a petition in court, seeking an order that the Electoral Commission of Zambia be commanded to amend the affidavit for Presidential/Running Mate nomination so that it includes a paragraph which reads: “I have not twice held office as President” which will comply with Article 106 (3) of the Constitution.
Sangwa argued that the affidavit in its current version as prescribed by the ECZ does not mandate Presidential candidates to address what is provided for in Article 106 (3) of the Constitution.
“The petitioner contends that the affidavit for Presidential candidate/Running Mate does not meet the requirement of Article 52 of the Constitution because it does not require a candidate in order to qualify for nomination as a Presidential candidate to state on Oath the number of times the candidate has held office as President as required by Article 106 (3) of the Constitution,” Sangwa stated.
But the State, through Simachela, have applied that Attorney General Likando Kalaluka be joined to the proceedings because the petition raises public interest issues relating to the process of conducting elections in Zambia.
“The petition herein also has implications of amending the law as contained in the Electoral Process (General) Regulations, Statutory Instrument No. 63 of 2016. It is imperative that the office of the Attorney General, being the custodian of public interest and Chief Legal Advisor to the Government, be joined to the proceedings herein,” he stated.
Simachela added that neither the petitioner nor the respondent will be prejudiced by joining the Attorney General to the proceedings.
And according to skeleton arguments filed in court, Simachela submitted that the State will demonstrate that based on the public interest issues that this petition raises, this was a proper case for the court to exercise its jurisdiction and join the Attorney General as the 2nd Intended Respondent.
He stated that the application has been made pursuant to Order V rule 4 (b) of the Constitutional Court Rules, 2016 which empowers the Constitutional Court to join a party to the proceedings.
Simachela further stated that it is clear that the court is vested with the jurisdiction to order the joinder of the Attorney General to the proceedings before judgment is delivered if the court finds it just and convenient.
And Simachela argued that owing to the public interest issues relating to the electoral process that arise in the petition, it will be in the interest of justice that the Attorney General is joined to the proceedings as the judgment of the court shall have a bearing on the public.
“Therefore, we submit that the Attorney General ought to be joined to these proceedings as a matter of public interest and policy as the Attorney General is not only a custodian of the public interest but also Chief Legal Advisor to the Government. If the main prayer of the petitioner herein is granted, it has implications of amending the law as contained in the Electoral Process (General) Regulations, Statutory Instrument No. 63 of 2016. As we close on this point, we wish to refer the court to Article 177 (5) of the Constitution,” stated Simachela.
Police arrest man for pulling down and destroying campaign materials belonging to PF
POLICE in Lusaka have arrested a 23 year old man for pulling down and destroying campaign materials belonging to the Patriotic Front Mandevu aspiring Member of Parliament.
In a media statement issued, Police spokesperson Esther Katongo said Joseph Sakala of angels area, Kabanana compound has been detained in police custody awaiting court appearance.
“This is reported to have occured on 11th June, 2021 at 16 30 hours in Chazanga Compound at Angel’s Clinic,” Mrs Katongo said.
She further reminded all political party sympathizers to avoid destroying other political party campaign materials as the act is criminal.
ConCourt throws out petition challenging the nomination of running mates
THE Constitutional Court has thrown out a petition which was challenging the nominations of running mates for lack of merit.
The court said the running mates are not supposed to pay nomination fees and also provide 100 supporters because they are merely invited by the party presidents.
Researcher and lecturer at UNZA Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa and Lusaka lawyer Alfred
Kanda petitioned 16 running mates to the Presidential candidates for political parties, seeking the nullification of their nominations because they do not meet the conditions set by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) when filing in nomination
Those challenged are President Edgar Lungu’s running mate Professor Nkandu Luo, UPND’s Mutale Nalumango and running mates for all political parties taking part in this year’s elections.
President Edgar Lungu is eligible to stand as President in the August Elections, ConCourt declares
THE Constitutional Court has declared that President Edgar Lungu is eligible to contest the August 12 General Elections.
This is the third time the Constitutional Court is ruling that President Lungu is eligible to stand as President.
Delivering the abridged majority judgment, judge Anne Sitali declared that President Lungu was entitled to contest the elections as he has not twice held office.
She said Article 106 does not bar President Lungu from participating in the election this year.
“The first respondent’s nomination is valid and he is entitled to stand for election on August 12, 2021.
The petitions have no merit and each party to bear own costs,” judge Sitali said.
However, one of the Constitutional Court judges, Professor Margaret Munalula, indicated that she had a dissenting judgment which she will deliver on June 30.
Legal Resources Foundation (LRF), Chapter One Foundation and University of Zambia (UNZA) researcher and lecturer Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa, through their lawyers John Sangwa and Linda Kasonde, argued that President Lungu already held office as President twice and that he was therefore, not eligible to stand in the forthcoming elections.
President Lungu was represented by Bonaventure Mutale, Eric Silwamba, Joseph Jalasi, Sakwiba Sikota and Lubinda Linyama while Attorney General Likando Kalaluka appeared for the State.