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Presidential Power Transfer case adjourned

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The Lusaka High Court has adjourned the case in which former Deputy Minister in the Chiluba administration, Newton Ng’uni is challenging the presidential power transfer from Justice and Defence Edgar Lungu to acting President Guy Scott.

High Court Judge Justice Gertrude Chawatama heard the matter today in chambers and has since adjourned it to 28th November 2014 for continued inter-parte hearing.

Attorney General Musa Mwenye told journalists that the court has issued directives to both parties to advise their clients not to make any statements that are prejudicial to the case.

Mr. Mwenye said the matter was now in court adding that no one was allowed to comment on it as doing so is sub judice.

He said no adverse order has been made against the Vice President, who is currently acting President, which leaves him to continue acting as Head of State.

This is in a case in which former Education Deputy Minister Mr. Ng’uni is challenging the presidential power transfer to Dr Scott from Justice Minister, who is also PF Secretary General Edgar Lungu following the death of President Michael Sata.

The judicial inquiry comes after Mr. Ng’uni petitioned the High Court saying the constitution was violated after Justice Minister Edgar Lungu, who was appointed Acting President by the late President Sata before he went abroad to seek medical treatment, ceded authority to Dr. Scott.

Mr. Nguni alleged that Dr. Scott and Cabinet had forced Mr. Lungu to relinquish power after he was allegedly threated that if this did not happen, Mr. Lungu and other cabinet ministers would be charged with treason.

Mr. Lungu, in his affidavits in support of the motion submitte that the Attorney General warned him that police were on stand-by to arrest him and other cabinet ministers opposed to his opinion.

Mr. Lungu submitted further that the Attorney General instilled fear in him and other cabinet ministers forcing him to surrender the instruments of power to Dr. Scott.

Lusaka lawyer Anthony Kasolo is representing Dr. Scott while the Attorney General Musa Mwenye is representing the state.

Lawyer Willy Mubanga is representing Mr. Nguni.

34 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t want to comment on matters that are active in court for I am also a lawyer. Away from court matters, Edgar Lungu is a very foolish man from Malawi. May he be a cursed man.

  2. This is such a waste of time. Please continue to adjourn until the end of the 90 days. Instead of concerning ourselves with what happens after January 27, 2015, people want to focus on the next 2 months. What is it about the constitution that is not understood by these chaps?

    • what do you understand about the constitution? My bet, judging from your style of writing is, nothing. You and Mushota should continue being what you are.

    • Zambia will remain stuck in a nonprogressive state for as long as it’s people remain shallow minded and continue using emotionally lead reasoning as opposed to critical and objective thinking. What good are rules if people cant follow them? What good are schools if people cant learn to read and reason? What good is a constitution if some people can “manipulate” in broad daylight?
      Zambia has a constitution that we all (now including the High Court) agree is ambiquous. But instead of welcoming the opportunity to have the consititution clarified people are saying it is a waste of time. What if Scott is Acting illegally? I am sure the same people will be saying, it doesnt matter – Its only for 90days after all. Edgar winning this case does not win him the Presidency in 2015.

    • You guys are joking. This Acting Presidency when there’s a vacancy in the highest office is different from the temporal one where an incumbent either takes leave of absence or is out of the country – this one is a major trump card for scooping the by-election: people buy what’s in front of them folks!

  3. May the spirit of the late Micheal Sata come and torment Edgar Lungu for his arrogance and disrespect towards Dr. Guy Scott. It seems the man is happy that Mr. Sata died no wonder he offered crocodile tears during the farewell mass. Edgar Lungu, a drunkard Malawian. I will drink my own urine if Edgar Lungu wins the presidency. I hurt the man including his family.

  4. Those are the familiar slow wheels of Zambian justice turning! The whole thing is an exercise in futility because the final ruling will be done after 90 days by which time the Scottie issue will be a moot point and Edgar will remain with a huge bill to pay the lawyers because they are not doing this pro bono. All goes to show that when you are in government make sure you fully fund the judiciary and have adequate judges. Postponements or adjournments are the sing song of the Zambian system and it has never improved since UNIP days. That is why last time Sata lost elections he refused to go and face these compromised judges who still wear wigs.

  5. The matter should be tested in a court of law not because Guy Scott is white but simply because his parents were not born in what became Zambia in 1964. Chiluba, not MCS or EL changed the constitution to bar people whose parents were not born, in what became Zambia in 1964. It does not matter when the said parents moved to Zambia, the cardinal point is that they were not born in the territory which later became known as Zambia. My question is, if a person cannot be allowed to be elected as president because of his parentage how can the same person be appointed as acting president by the AG?

    • That is because the constitution is silent on the process of transition from Vice to interim president but is clear on the process of electing the President. The fact that it is not clear is what makes it even possible for Guy Scott to act, because it can be interpreted in his favor or against him BUT cannot be categorically stated as you would like. There is no statement in the constitution that states that an Interim President has to have both parents of Zambian descent. Also, this is an acting capacity and the man is not elected, operative word is appointed by virtue of what the constitution says.

    • Olympia Extension Chick! You are one of the old school bloggers on LT. In short you are saying our country shall remain with no head of state for the period until By-elections. If one cannot stand due to parentage, then one should not act, simple logic and translation here. The main point being if your roots are not Zambian, your soul shall be divided. The high court is embarrassing our nation by being ineffective. Elect officials and MPs with gumption to change all this. Our future starts now.

    • Jay Jay, I second you reasoning on why Scott cannot be in President’s chair under all circumstances.

      Olympia Chick. The Constitution specifies the person who can even remotely be called President. Parents must be Zambians.

    • @ Olympia Extension Chick!.
      Listen below to what laws of Zambia says :
      Article 38. (2) “Whenever the office of President becomes vacant, the Vice-President or, in the absence of the Vice-President or if the Vice-President is unable, by reason of physical or mental infirmity, to discharge the functions of his office, a member of the Cabinet elected by the Cabinet shall perform the functions of the office of President until a person elected as President in accordance with Article 34 assumes office.

      See what these USELESS PF MPs are doing to Zambia, Kaponyas, basokwe, Viva Guy Scott, Viva GRZ, abash Drunkard Edgar Lungu! Abash. Where is UPND? Where is HH?. Please Whip useless PF MPs out of Zambia as they are a disgrace to humanity.

  6. I agree, this is the waste of time and government resources. Time is money! You can used that time to look at really court cases. These are the problems we need to eradicate in African to develop, we don’t value time. This one resource God gave the poor and the rich equally….TIME

  7. One important aspect to draw from this scenario. Come January 28, Zambia shall have a new Attorney general. A permanent chief justice, and a president.

  8. @Janza Kumbele, thank you for bringing up the Article. The Vice-President is only deemed unfit to act in the event of physical and/or mental infirmity, which would then allow Cabinet to pick one amongst themselves. It makes no reference to any parental clause. The conditions under which he CANNOT ascend to the position of interim President are clearly laid out and it can be easily argued that based on these conditions, he is fit to hold the position of ACTING president. Let us not confuse this with a DULY ELECTED President. Its a big difference.

  9. @Salamat, you are right about the constitution being clear about who can remotely be called PRESIDENT. Parents should indeed be Zambian. HOWEVER, for the position of INTERIM OR ACTING PRESIDENT, there is no such clause.

  10. @Mwanakwitu, my brother, what I am saying is that Zambia shall have a CARETAKER President until we officially elect one by January 2015. Again, there is no provision in the constitution that makes any specific stipulations about the Acting President, except that he is of sound mind and is physically fit to hold the position for that specified period of time.

  11. If Edgar has any senses he should stop picking fights with people who are not in good standing with the public. He requires statesmanship behaviour and people will just consider the his distractors. He got his popularity by allowing the evil ones grab power when we were mourning. Later he went biblical by reminding us of King Solomon. Why is he going back to cry for that baby? We will soon doubt if he is the right Mother!

    Take a deep breath (not a beer) Edgar and refocus. Power will be delivered to you, if thats where it belongs, no matter how they skim to manipulate things.

    • In this case, Edgar is a Respondent like Mwenye, and Scott, not the Petitioner.

      He is not suing anyone! He has been compelled to come forward and give evidence as to how power was transferred to Scott.

  12. Tired of you all now. The constitution is very very clear. The Vice President shall act, at the time of the Sata’s death, there was only one Vice President in place. There is no parentage on this issue. Which schools did you go to Kansi?

    • There is no parentage in Vice President role.

      There is parentage clause in President. Therefore the appointing of someone who cannot be President is wrong.

      There is a problem with the constitution! In its current state Scott can not act as President.

  13. Edgar is ALREADY dribbled and he should forget about presidency.
    I n fact aloba yo yuma !!!.
    Just pack your bags and go to the village.

    • I agree ! This whole petition is a waste of THEIR energy ! By the time it is disposed of , it will be January ! ( or even later ) ! lol !

  14. The current power struggle is a consequence of one Zambian judge – Isaac Chali who refused to order a medical board for our late President. If this Judge had been less partisan and less comical, President Sata would have been given an opportunity to hand power properly. Again we are seeing people with small brains and feet of clay trying hard to ensure this case becomes irrelevant. This court case has consequences beyond the court room just like the earlier case Isaac Chali dismissed as frivolous. PLEASE USE YOUR PROFESSIONAL JUDGEMENT – JUDGE CHAWATAMA.

  15. Waste of government resources. Adjourn it again to January 28. Those of you supporting the mesas that Kafupi created to bar KK should be ashamed. That part in the constitution should not be respected. How do you support an injustice in the constitution? Obama is a president of a great nation, but where did his father come from? Shame on you. Lungi is not the only one who has acted as president in Zambia. Let Scott continue to act until we go to elect our new president.

  16. Which church does Edgy Lungu go to ? Does it allow Christianity ? The beginning of Boko aram in zambia . this is a christian Nation , unless Zambians are saying NO to Christianity

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