Trial in the presidential election petition case will start on Friday this week, 2nd September 2016 and finish on Thursday next week.
The UPND is contesting the re-election of President Edgar Lungu of the Patriotic Front (PF).
The Court is however reconvening shortly to hear the argument related to the 14 days limit set by the Constitution.
The lawyers representing President Edgar Lungu argue that the 14 days in which the Petition should be heard will expire on Friday.
The lawyers are relying upon Article 103 (2) that states that: The Constitutional Court shall hear an election petition relating to the President-Elect within fourteen (14) days of the filing of the Petition.
The lawyers are also relying on the Constitutional interpretation as provided for in Article 269 (d) which states that weekends are counted if the days of the matter exceeds 6 days.
UPND lawyers, on the other hand are contending that the 14 days will end next Thursday on 8th September 2016 if weekends are excluded.
The UPND contend that the Court should consider 14 working days instead of ordinary 14
The Court will seat to determine the arguments.
Meanwhile, UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has reiterated his call for President elect Edgar Lungu to step aside and allow the Speaker of the National Assembly to act as President while the presidential petition is still on going.
Mr Hichilema said it is illegal for President Lungu to continue as President of the Republic and that his continued stay in office is tantamount to treason, an illegal usurpation of power – a coup d’état, for which the police should arrest him.
He said the law is clear that the Speaker should act as President until the presidential petition is determined by the Constitutional Court.
“The continued stay in presidential office by PF presidential candidate Mr. Edgar Lungu is tantamount to treason, an illegal usurpation of power – a coup d’état, for which the police should arrest him.
“The law is very clear that he has to hand over the instruments of power to the Speaker of National Assembly until the presidential petition is determined by the Constitutional Court.
“Mr. Lungu’s lawlessness is putting undue pressure on the Judiciary. We call on all stakeholders such as the civil society organisations, the church and the international community to voice out on Mr. Lungu’s disregard of the Constitution and general lawlessness,” he said.
He also called on President Lungu and “his cadres” to stop threatening constitutional office bearers and other institutions such as Law Association of Zambia.
He further demanded the reopening of the private media houses which were recently closed.
“We once more demand the reopening of the closed private media houses namely The Post newspaper, Muvi TV, Komboni Radio, and Itezhi Tezhi Radio. Mr Lungu’s actions are typical of the behaviour of any dictator. We know dictators always want citizens not to have free speech and access to information.
“We are also urging journalists from the public media to act responsibly and stop hate speech currently going on as that amounts to inciting ethnic divisions,” he said.
He added “We keep calling for calm and peace but our messages are not being heard, especially after the closure of the biggest media channels.”