Lawyers in the election petition at the Supreme Court this afteernoon
Lawyers in the election petition at the Supreme Court this afteernoon

The Young African Leaders initiative says the Constitutional Court has set dangerous precedent with regards to both the rule of law, and to the law with specific reference to hearing and determination of election petitions for Members of Parliament and other elective offices.

In a statement YALI Governance Advisor Isaac Mwanza said his organization is shocked at the casual attitude with which the Constitutional Court has dealt with what is nothing more than emotive appeals in the Presidential election petition and with which the court has been seized these past 3 weeks.

Below is a full statement as issued by YALI.

The decision by the Constitutional Court to extend the time limit allowed by the Constitution for trying a presidential petition has set a most dangerous precedent with regards to both the rule of law, and to the law with specific reference to hearing and determination of election petitions for Members of Parliament and other elective offices.

We are shocked by the casual attitude with which the Constitutional Court has dealt with what is nothing more than emotive appeals in the Presidential election petition and with which the esteemed court has been seized these past 3 weeks.

On Thursday 1st September, 2016 Her Ladyship Justice Sitali handed down a ruling to the effect that the said presidential petition would have to be concluded on Friday 2nd September 2016 which would mark the end of the 14 days within which the Constitution stipulates that such a matter should be heard.

Following spirited representations by counsel for the petitioners, the matter was, quite strangely, referred to the full bench of the court. Strange in that Her Ladyship Madam Justice Sitali had handed down a substantive ruling on the matter. We are not aware of any provision in any law, which permits the court to refer a substantive ruling from a Judge of the Court, to the full bench. In effect, this was an appeal lying from a single judge, to the full bench, a most strange procedure whose foundation at law, we are at a loss to discover.

On Friday 2nd September, 2016 the President of the Constitutional Court, Her Ladyship Madam Justice Chibomba, delivered the substantive ruling of the court: the 14 days stipulated in the Constitution itself, for the hearing of a presidential election petition, would expire at 23:59 on 2nd September 2016.

The court therefore gave the two sides, up to 23:45 to conclude their submissions.

At midnight on 2nd September 2016, to our utter shock and dismay, Her Ladyship Madam Justice Chibomba informed the court that, following emotive pleas by the petitioners themselves in person, having been abandoned by their lawyers under the structures imposed by the time bar as stipulated in the ruling by the Constitutional Court itself, the court had decided that the matter would continue on Monday 5th September 2016 .

In other words, the Constitutional Court would proceed in blatant violation of not only the court’s own ruling, its governing statute and rules and in utter disregard of the Constitution itself.

YALI wishes to place it on record that the principles inherent in Section 106 Subsection 2 of the Electoral Process Act No. 35 of 2016 are instructive: Both the High Court and Tribunals established under the Act, are instructed to dismiss election petitions which have not been tried and determined within the period specified in the law due to a failure by the petitioner to actively prosecute the petition.

The Constitutional Court which constantly acknowledged itself as lacking jurisdiction under Order XV Rule 7 of the Constitutional Court Rules, to extend the time limited by the Constitution when trying a petition, decided without jurisdiction and in violation of the said Rule, to set an entirely unlawful precedent for the lower courts, where if the petitioner fails to prosecute the matter within the specified time as provided by law, the petitioner can now rely on the precedent now set by the Constitutional Court, to proceed with hearing under this unfortunate precedent which now stops any lower Court or tribunal from dismissing such a petition under Section 106 Subsection 2 of the Electoral Process Act for want of prosecution.

With regards to the hearing of the presidential election petition, it had become quite noticeable that the Constitutional Court had first given the litigants different directions, variously to the effect that the main petition was to be heard from Friday 2nd September 2016 extending into time outside the 14 days as stipulated by law. The subsequent change of its earlier position created uncertainty among both petitioners and respondents, which further delayed the hearing of the petition within the required time frame which, according to the Constitution itself, ended on September 2, 2016.

The Constitutional Court ought to have taken responsibility for the confusion caused to both parties to this petition, resulting in counsel for the petitioners walking out of Court.

YALI is therefore deeply concerned that while the Constitutional Court failed to take charge of the proceedings from the start, the precedent set by the Court will have serious implications in the manner the High Court and Tribunals will have to deal with similar situations that may arise before them during trial of parliamentary and local government elections petitions.

For instance, if the High Court dismissed a petition under Section 106 subsection 2 because the petitioner failed to prosecute it within the time line provided in the law, and if the petitioner lodged an appeal before the Constitutional Court, how would the Court protect the rule of law and ensure enforcement of Section 106 Subsection 2 if the petitioner made reference to the precedent set by the Constitutional Court itself as described in the presidential election petition currently before it?

The Constitutional Court ought to be alive to the fact that the precedent it has set, will be cited by either petitioners or respondents who are ruled to have failed to prosecute a matter within the time frame set by the Constitution, and wish to prolong petitions in Court, a mischief which we have sought to cure by amending the Constitution thus.

Zambians do not need to be taken back to the old ways of doing things where, if government wanted to punish an uncooperative member of parliament, they would resort to underhand methods such as those employed in the Dora Siliya petition, in which the ruling party simply elected not to prosecute the matter knowing that the could could not compel the parties to conclude the matter, thereby denying the people of Petauke Central constituency of representation in their parliament.

It is YALI’s position that the decision by the Constitutional Court to extend the presidential election petition is patently illegal and unlawful. To allow the Petitioners’ plaintive cries for a hearing, amounts to allowing them to appeal against the Court’s own ruling as handed down by the President of the Court on 2nd September, 2016. It is also a violation of Article 128 of the Constitution itself which stipulates that the decisions of this court are final and cannot be appealed against. Finally this decision to extend the hearing is illegal in that the Rules of the Constitutional Court do not permit the court to extend the time limited by the Constitution and to review its own decisions.The ruling handed down by the President of the Court, that the hearing of the presidential election petition was to conclude at 23:45 on Friday 2nd September 2016 was final and irreversible, and could not be appealed against.

We urge the court to strictly observe provisions of the Constitution which are binding on the Court and bring the presidential election petition to an immediate end as it became time-barred as from midnight of 2nd September, 2016.

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112 COMMENTS

  1. Most Dramatic Exit – Legal Team UPND

    Best Sound Design -collective groans emitted by a divided nation

    Surprise Newcomers – Counsel HH, GBM Legal Zentertainers

    Most Tragic Performer – Countdown clock set to Zed People Time

    Outstanding Role in Confusion Generated Special FX – The Zed Constitution

    Best Premature Online Dramatic Exit – Katondo “Poison Death Wishes” Boys

    Best Non Fiction Comedic Screenplay – A tie between all parties present and the Zed constitution

    Lifetime Achievement Award – Peacefully patient Zambians

    Most Sought After Prop This Weekend – High Blood Pressure Pills

    Just chill.

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    • Judge Chibomba is eroding the confidence people had in the Constitutional Court.

      Judge Chibomba earlier made a strong ruling regarding timeframe set by the constitution, that judges had no power to change it.

      She had made a ruling that 14 days cannot be altered, concluding that the case had to be closed by 23:59.

      She then turned and went directly opposite her own ruling. So, what can we say about her earlier ruling or her 2nd ruling.

      Judges must be careful to preserve the trust people wish to place in the courts of law.

      Right now, I feel that the ruling regarding the minister’s stay in office could easily be changed if it were possible to pursue it further, because the Constitutional Court has set precedent, that it can easily change its own ruling.

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    • In fact there were more grounds to constitutionally argue the issue of ministers stay in office than the very definite rule around the constitutional 14 days limit.

      Let the law not depend on likes and wants of the judges, but on meritorious nature of the cases involved.

      It is the responsibility if judges to ensure that people maintain their respects for verdicts from the courts.

      Judge Chibomba must not be shocked if UPND uses the same bending she has made to ‘favour’ the UPND to blame the courts for inconsistency and incompetence.

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    • While I know that the judge may have wanted to apply the,

      “Tubatwalile abene bakayonawile”, so that the court is not blamed for a brouhht-in-dead (BID) case,
      this should not have called for going against own ruling.

      I know, HH and GBM have no case. The lawyers left not because there was no time left, no.

      It was because there no case; that is why they kept looking for preliminaries, to justify their hiring.

      When time for preliminaries was over they had to leave because there was no more case left.

      How on earth do you as plaintiff ask the defendant to help you with evidence?

      That is what the UPND did; they were asking ZNBC, whom they have sued, to provide evidence.

      Are you sure you have a case?

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    • I think confidence in the Concourt has been slowly eroded by its own inconsistency and it was running down its own clock by not making better use of its first week. It has played itself in to unprecedented territory.

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    • Ilifye best. We want UPND not to come back and say that we were not given enough time to defend the main petition. Umwana ngalila kumupela ibele

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    • IGNORANTIA JURIS NON EXCUSAT OR IGNORANTIA LEGIS NEMINEM EXCUSAT – THE JUDGE ON THE SPOTLIGHT.
      ===============================================
      Has that Judge ever held the bible in her hand in the court of law?
      Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat (Latin) (“ignorance of the law excuses not” and “ignorance of law excuses no one” in English respectively) is a legal principle holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because he or she was unaware of its content but our Judge is a practitioner of the law.
      The rationale of the doctrine is that if ignorance were an excuse, a person charged with criminal offenses or a subject of a civil lawsuit would merely claim that he or she is unaware of the law in…

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    • Contd.
      .. question to avoid liability, even if that person really does know what the law in question is. Thus, the law imputes knowledge of all laws to all persons within the jurisdiction no matter how transiently. Even though it would be impossible, even for someone with substantial legal training, to be aware of every law in operation in every aspect of a state’s activities, this is the price paid to ensure that wilful blindness cannot become the basis of exculpation. Thus, it is well settled that persons engaged in any undertakings outside what is common for a normal person, such as running a nuclear power plant, will make themselves aware of the laws necessary to engage in that undertaking. If they do not, they cannot complain if they incur liability. Wikimedia Foundation inc…

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    • Contd.(2016)
      Although we want to give HH enough rope to hung himself, let us trade carefully, an illegality has just been committed in plain sight.

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    • I’m not a legal expert but this is what the Constitution says: Article 103. (1) A person may, within seven days of the declaration of a President-elect, petition the Constitutional Court to nullify the election of the President-elect on the ground that—
      (a) the person was not validly elected; or
      (b) a provision of this Constitution or other law relating to
      presidential elections was not complied with.
      (2) The Constitutional Court shall hear an election petition
      relating to the President-elect within fourteen days of the filing of
      the petition.
      So the progression order of events seems to be 1. Petition should be made within 7 days of the declaration of a President-elect . (Meaning if you file on the 8th day or later, then it’s too late and invalid). Then 2. The ConCourt should…

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    • (Continued)… hear the petition within 14 days of the petition. (This seems to mean that the “within 14 days “refers to the start of the hearing, but doesn’t seem to have any time limit after that. The 14 days guideline seems to mean, for instance, that the ConCourt doesn’t take say 15 days or more, after the petition has been filed, before they can hear the case. But once the hearing gets started, there doesn’t seem to be a time limit as to how long the hearing can take. In other words it doesn’t say the Petition hearing has to get started and CONCLUDED within 14 days. It seems like the hearing can go beyond 14 days, as long as it started within 14 days after the petition filing. If this was meant as an improvement on the old constitution, then I’m not sure that the new…

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    • (Continued)… wording in the new constitution reflects that. Because the new wording seems to be open to various interpretations. Does the “within 14 days” mean all the hearing has to be CONCLUDED within the 14 days time frame, or it means the 14 days just refers to the beginning of the hearing, and has no time limit after that as to how long the hearing can last? If the latter is the case, then probably that’s what the ConCourt is following and in that case, they didn’t do anything wrong by postponing it to Monday. And again if that’s the case, then maybe like I said, there’s no much improvement on the old constitution. That would mean the hearing can go on and on forever for weeks, months and years. Don’t quote me on that one as I’m not a Legal expert in any way, shape or…

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    • The trick of the CONwomenCourt was to use delaying tactics so that the 14 days would elapse. The truth is the 14 days only starts when the petitioners present their submissions which is Monday 5th Nov. Why is the PF not talking about the provisions of the constitution for the President to Step Aside and hand over to the Speaker during the petition process? Overlooking this provision is a total disregard of the rule of law. Why are they failing to rule on this preliminary issue? Had Edgar Lungu stepped down immediately after the petition was filed in. this case would have been concluded even before the 14 days were over. LET’S ALL RESPECT THE LAW!!!!!

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    • @ Peace for Zambia your frustration is evident, but then that’s how deep the rot can be pa Zed, need one say more.

      That said though, the dictum ‘the monkey shall not be condemned unheard’, as in natural justice, appears to have carried the day here.

      In my view I’ve always thought the 14 days as now resident in the new constitution was not thoroughly interrogated. This is because our friends the lawyers always raise preliminary issues which can ‘chew’ much of the time before the substantive matter is even addressed – case in point.

      As for ZNBC being asked to adduce public news material, that talks to what the judicial process terms ‘discovery’. Ordinarily, this is permissible actually.

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  2. In fact there were more grounds to constitutionally argue the issue of ministers stay in office than the very definite rule around the constitutional 14 days limit.

    Let the law not depend on likes and wants of the judges, but on meritorious nature of the cases involved.

    It is the responsibility if judges to ensure that people maintain their respects for verdicts from the courts.

    Judge Chibomba must not be shocked if UPND uses the same bending she has made to ‘favour’ the UPND to blame the courts for inconsistency and incompetence.

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    • The KanCourt (Kangaroo Court) does not have anybody else to blame but the 5 monkeys sitting on the bench. When they were sworn in earlier in the year, somebody had pointed out that the type of law most of these judges had practiced was property conveyancing. Their lack of experience and casual attitude meant that the other 4 judges napped in their chambers while Anne Mwewa made a fool of herself with petty arguments and refusing to work weekends and evenings. The full bench should have heard the petition from day one. As usual with PF cadres, the KanCourt flip-flopped their way until there was no time left, hoping to knock out UPND on technicalities by Silwamba and Mvunga. Now these monkeys have been caught with their knickers around their smelly toes and unmasked for what they are -…

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    • Exactly the difference between Roman-Dutch system and the English system, or common law system if you like. The former uses specified codes while the latter relies too much on precedence as a major factor, thus effectively making it ‘judge made law’.

      Will be interested to see how Md. Chomba and gang get out of this self-inflicted quagmire – this must be the most uncomfortable shortest weekend for this lot.

      Meanwhile ECL’s thin victory (0.6%) has already been surpassed by inflation! Sorry IMF, hang on a little longer. Our judges are also apparently learning on the job also!

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  3. YALI (Mwanza) has conveniently not commented on Justice Anne Sitali’s earlier ruling that the matter was going to be heard in “14 working days”. Why did she backtrack on her earlier ruling? Consistency is what is required YALI should not just to condemn the court’s actions when it passes a ruling seemingly in favour of UPND.

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    • First I didn’t think this YALI thing was a subsidiary arm of the PF government. How is membership determined at this organization, do you have to be a PF member?

      Anyway I don’t think UPND ‘failed to prosecute the matter’. So many things happened from both sides that lead to the delay. But in all honesty there’s no way you can prosecute an election petition of this magnitude within 2 hours. Even the so called ’14 days’ isn’t enough and I believe it referred to the start of the hearing the trial from filing time, and not its conclusion.

      Above all natural justice of the right to be heard and right to a fair trial trumps all requirements of 14 days which is open to various interpretations.

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    • When constitutional clauses clash, the clauses that deal with fundamental human rights and natural justice take precedence over other clauses. In this case HH representative his nearly 50% electorates (perhaps more than that if he proves his rigging allegations) have a fundamental right to be heard and a right to a fair trial. Even Jesus Christ was given time to be heard despite the overzealous mob who wanted him sentenced to death without a trial.

      It is easy to guess the final outcome of this petition anyway judging by what we have seen so far from this court. But at least PF cadres have patience so HH can present his evidence.

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  4. Kolwe , did you want the court to make a ruling without giving the petitioners enough time to present their side, 2 hours is not enough. The Judge made the rightful decision against the pressure from Edgar Chakolwa Lungu to be declared illegal winner.

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  5. YALI you should also have cited Sitali s ruling that 14 days meant to end next Thursday before she overruled herself. The point is people go to court for justice and the court cant deny them justice simply because of time.
    Also why hasn’t ECL handed over power to the speaker?
    You cant follow the law piecemeal.. If you kill courts then zambiaa is doomed

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  6. It’s their right. Not even the judges can deny that right to be heard. Messy court play but that final chess move was brilliant in pushing a stale mate. We are now on Zed Time. We are used to nothing getting done on time in Zed. Now it has become a constitutional right, lol, to be fluidly Zambian about time.

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  7. YALI you must be a bunch of amateurs.If you first look at the ruling that was past concerning the illegal stay of ministers in office,it was done in the spirit of the constitution.You want the court to declare Edgar Lungu the winnner without giving the other guys a fair hearing?You think John Sangwa is just some stupid laywer to walkk out of that court?Something is wrong here and let the courts do what they have to do.This is the interest of the country and dont think HH is an ordanary Zambian like you and I.He is the leader of the main opposition and there is life after Edgar!You are the same people who are misleading the bunch of young people following you because you are paid by the government.There is the rule of law but to make a rulling at that hour was going to be the most stupid…

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    • YALI such an organisation you lead as yours must be impartial. Politicians come and go so do their parties. You yourself are setting a negative precedent by being disappointed because the court seemingly ruled in favour of your opponents.
      Your organisation must be nonpartisan so it can continue enjoying handouts from whichever part is in government.
      You are now showing your true colours.

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    • YALI such an organisation you lead as yours must be impartial. Politicians come and go so do their parties. You yourself are setting a negative precedent by being disappointed because the court seemingly ruled in favour of your opponents.
      Your organisation must be nonpartisan so it can continue enjoying handouts from whichever part is in government.
      You are now showing your true colours.

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    • @Ichishinka,
      You make good points, and these are facts the certain type of people on this forum are either intentionally ignoring or they are just so brainwashed that they are incapable of reasoning objectively. The problem is their focus on 2 individual – HH &GBM, but forgetting the large % of Zambians who voted otherwise, as they wished they wanted someone else. HH as a political leader can not just ignore those people. There were discrepancies during the election (we all know that), but lets have fair judgement to be made on the validity and significance of the evidence, and not cursing the opposition for their rights that they are exercising to represent their people.

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    • Maverick and Ichishinka. according to yourselves, the Constitutional provisions must be abrogated in order to accommodate HH. Didn’t all those learned Tongas know about the time frame to this case. But no they chose to waste time doing ifybupuba. And then the Country should be held to ransome indefinitely at the whims of HH. Your reasoning is rather……

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    • Oh the irony of the word exchange in your statement has tickled me to the bone. Either that or you’re genuinely joking.

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  8. there you go you are shocked because it has now affected ypur wako ni wako syndrome.

    You were silent when edgar held.on to power against the provisions of the constitution

    you hypocrite.

    This country does not belong to you and your people alone.

    This country will never be the same again because of people like you

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    • Exactly.!
      This Mwanza must be a fool supporting wrong thing coz of wako ni wako.

      Lets have morals in this country else , it wil be a circus.

      The Concourt must accord both parties justice else , it will be a circus.

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  9. sitali; best keep quiet as your ignorance shows through your writing; how can there be a judgement without the court hearing the case, we do not want fast judgement but that both sides should be heard and ECZ should inform the court of the percentages of the presidential candidates and how could the judge refuse for the court not to hold the ballot papers which are supposed to be evidence, does the police allow an accused person to hold the evidence ? BE FAIR AS WE ALL VOTED FOR OUR CHOSEN CANDITATE

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  10. A former privitization crook (HH) and a former drug dealer/ current wife beater and vulgar mouthed lumpene (GBV) together they have conned their way to having the ruling made on Monday…interesting…

    These are truelly the last kicks of a mentally diseased horse or cow…

    But ba UPND truly are dunderheads- you had over a week to organise your facts and have once again failed because you have NO FACTS!

    Even in 2021 you chaps will fail because you are truelly UPND-THE UNITED PARTY FOR NATIONAL DUNDERHEADS!!!

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    • Your boundless anger and hate are at variance with the conduct of a legitimate winner.

      Dirty rotten scoundrels always fight against transparency. Whatever they end up having is gotten through intimidation, trickery and force.

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  11. It’s clear justice denied is wasted. From on set the question is why did the concourt not sitting over weekends? If the fourteen days applied in this case could have been included if surely weekends were included as working days but the four days are not included. The witnesses have not been called to give evidence and cross examined therefore the concourt is putting it’s self as irrelevant and waste of time and money. The lawyers representing PF first denied having served summons and others said they had received them. Requested to study the case and were given that time. The lawyers for UPND asked the court to them time to bring witnesses they are denied the time. I’m not a lawyer neither supporter of the two political parties. How is the judges at the concourt arrive at the fair…

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  12. Zambia’s democracy is unraveling right here! We can also see how low the calibre of our lawyers is, just like the people manning our judiciary. I can feel the frustrations of HH and GBM. Sadly it’s not about HH or ECL but about the integrity of the systems erected to protect our democracy. What we are seeing is an extremely worrying situation. We have reassess what constitutes a qualification for practicing law at any level in Zambia.

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  13. YALI and PF supporters cool-down, this is not your country alone to force mediocre leadership on Zambians! And yet we have lawyers in making – HH & GBM, able leaders, not that fake lawyer hiding in a hole like a rat!

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  14. It is clear to all and sundry that the constitutional court is made up of incompetent judges. How can one Hildah Chibomba, a known member of the UPND election campaign fundraising team, go beyond the constitutionally provided 14 days in which to dispose of the presidential petition? Who is she trying to please? Her fellow Tonga, Hakainde Hichilema?
    Why is it that the UPND team did not seek clarification on the 14 day period earlier so that they could have asked for the court to hear them on weekends? Or is it a clear case of the UPND not having had a clear case right from the beginning and simply trying to abuse the court process? Judge Chibomba should know that she is being watched and anything that will be ruled on after the 14 day period will be of no effect legally. She should also…

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    • Bwana if there are judges we know have issues it is one Anne Sitali & that Mungeni Mulenga Sitalis husband is sharing RDA money with PF and Mungeni has that PF convention funny judgements.

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  15. She should also know that after this case people may request to have a tribunal constituted to investigate impropriety on her part. For how can Judge Chibomba fail to properly guide the proceedings of the Constitutional court by going by the 14 day period in which to dispose of a presidential petition. Certainly, this is incompetence of the highest order of its kind to have constitutional court judges contradict themselves over a simple matter of 14 calendar days. Why should we continue to even refer to these men and women as “learned” when they can fail us over such a simple matter as that of interpreting the 14 day period in which to dispose of a presidential petition?

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    • The same way a tribunal is likely to be constituted to probe Anne Sitali I guess? Why did Sitali reverse her earlier ruling?

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  16. Zambia’s democracy is unraveling right here! We can also see how low the calibre of our lawyers is, just like the people manning our judiciary. I can feel the frustrations of HH and GBM. Sadly it’s not about HH or ECL but about the integrity of the systems erected to protect our democracy. What we are seeing is an extremely worrying situation. We have reassess what constitutes a qualification for practicing law at any level in Zambia.

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  17. The Young African Leaders initiative what hypocrites you are. E.C. Lungu and PF have broken the Constitutional laws have you voiced out your concern on the dangerous precedent they have set. No you were quite.
    No wonder Zambia doesnt develop because of fake NGOs like yours that dont stand for the truth.
    If anything what would have happened if the court had said no. There would have been riots. Its a right to be heard. Lungu used the same trick at Mulungushi to become President of PF, the Judge of the court Anne Mwewe Sitali kpet on pushing the dates so that the 14 days could pass. Any dull fool can see the trick that was being played here. Lungu appointed Judges that dont qualify to be in the ConCourt did you The Young African Leaders initiative say anthing ? No. Even LAZ complained…

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  18. Atase…..I have lost respect for the so called lawyers/judges. They can no longer be trusted in so far as fair dispute resolutions are concerned and later on to uphold our democratic values because of bias and to a greater extent corruption. This vice has now been clearly exhibited by one of the highest court in the land.
    I expected much more than what is being delivered. Here i am not talking about the direction of decisions but rather they way and manner in which the decisions are being made. In short any decision that will be made at this stage will not be credible as the losing party will surely cry foul. That’s not where we as Zambians wanted to be after 11 August 2016 elections.

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  19. The concourt has put Zambia on poor record of having zero judiciary system. It’s really disappointed for the court to pass a judgement few minutes you disagree own judgment.

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    • hece Chibomba must be fired, she has failed this Country. Her incompentancy is unacceptable. Chibomba cannot the President of the Constitutional Court, ECL plz replace CHIBOMBA must be replaced immediately

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  20. Yes I agree with YALI but not hearing the petition will have set even more dangerous precedent. It would have breached the right to fair trial which a bed rock of any democracy. If this right is trumpled upon, what will happen if another party next year feel their victory has been stolen? Go to court? Go to the bush? “One day se shall have constitutional crisis here in Zambia “

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    • You don’t force people to be heard.

      UPND did not want to be heard because the lawyers saw that there was no case.

      There is a limit to timeframe by the constitution.

      You don’t go for interviews, and time you are asked a question you keep raising other mattes before you can get to the point.

      A nd when time is up you say I did not get to the point, i need more time. It is unfair because I have the right to be heard.

      And you blame examiners interviewers for sticking to time?

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    • Except this is not an interview, is it? The fact of the matter, from Md. Sitali and Chibomba judgments, is that even the ConCourt is unsure about the interpretation of 14 days so far. What’s amazing though is, don’t these guys caucus at all?

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  21. I NEED SOME ASSISTANCE GUYS.MY BIRTHDAY FALLS ON 5TH MAY.CAN YOU ASSIST ME WITH CALCULATING MY CORRECT BIRTHDAY CONSIDERING THAT I HAVE TO OMIT THE WEEK-ENDS.APPRECIATION WILL BE SHOWN.PLS INCLUDE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT SO THAT I TRANSFER THE FUNDS URGENTLY

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  22. EITHER WAY, IT WILL HAVE LOOKED WRONG. IF THE CONCOURT STUCK TO THEIR TIME, HH/GBM WILL HAVE GONE SCREAMING THAT WE WERE NOT GIVEN CHANCE TO BE HEARD, REGARDLESS OF THE TIME FACTOR.

    THE EXTENSION HAS ALSO PUT THE CONCOURT ON A QUESTIONABLE STANDING. DO NOT BE SURPRISED IF ECLs TEAM BRING ALL SORTS OF INJUNCTIONS. HH WILL ALSO BRING IN ALL SORTS OF COMPLICATIONS. EVEN THE FOUR DAYS WILL NOT BE ENOUGH. SUPPOSE THE NEW LAWYERS ALSO SAY WE NEED AT LEAST FIVE DAYS TO STUDY THE CASE, ON WHAT BASIS WILL THE CONCORT DENY THEM SUCH A REQUEST? SINCE IN FACT WE HAVE NOW THROWN AWAY THE ISSUE OF TIME TO THIS CASE.

    THE BEST COULD HAVE BEEN TO STICK TO THE EARLIER RULING AND TELL HH/GBM THAT YOU HAVE PFAILED TO PROVIDE EVIDENCE IN THE STIPULATED TIME. SO YOU HAVE LOST AND CASE CLOSED.

    WE ALSO…

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    • Typical. Intentionally ignoring or not knowing the facts.
      Earlier decision was to have hearing until August 8th. !!!!!

      If this was adhered to, today we would not be discussing this mess, that is the point. It would have been clean and straight forward, meaning 14 business days. No one would have walked out or felt not being treated fairly.

      Just take a moment to reflect mwana.

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  23. Yali has double standards. Concourt realised it had erred in insisting on a 14 day as opposed to the 14 working day rule. What is wrong in Concourt correcting its earlier mistake? In anycase Courts use 14 working day rule as a standard. Furthermore Concourt has a discretion to extend the Hearing Period in need just like ECZ has the discretion to extend the voting period when there are logistical problems. Yali comments on the 14 day working day rule but chooses to say nothing about Lungu stepping down for the Speaker of Parliament to be sworn in as Acting President. Concourt up to now has not ordered Lungu to step down. Lungu has refused to comply with the law. So is this a good precedent? Yali even argued that with or without the UPND Petetion Lungu will be sworn in. What became of that?…

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  24. Zambians are just a joke. They have allowed mediocrity in all institutions to the extent where you no longer feel proud and free. Am glad my family left the country before it reached such lows.

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  25. All this has been brought about by ECZ which prostituted itself with PF to rig the elections, stooges like E Chulu(look at his age), Priscila Isaacs( a lady). Atleast PF, since they abused state resources, they were trying to survive, but for ECZ personnel, now the judges – chi Anne Mwewa why risk the country to this level of confusion?

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  26. The Young African Leaders initiative…how old are these chaps? The initiative started off with an honest agenda now they are merely jobseekers!!

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  27. @Joe
    May you rethink you gladness that you are in another country, the owners of your country of residence went through a process to achieve what they are, therefore, it takes owners of a country to stand up and correct the wrongs just like HH & GBM did last night. Against all odds, things turned around! When Zambians will uplift their human rights conscience, then we shall less people supporting mediocrity either as individuals or institutions like ECZ!

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  28. YALI
    The problem you have failed to point out is that in Zambia there are so many crooks and unqualified charlatans who pose as constitutional lawyers here. It is only in Zambia where a lawyer who specialized in criminal or land law can pass for a constitutional lawyer. Kind of like confusing a Mendelian geneticist for a hard-core biochemist. The latter is an entirely different specialization. Constitutional law is about governance ideas and not drug dealers or land tribunals. We have a virtual dictatorship in Zambia today and all folks who believe that Zambia is a democracy need urgent psychotherapy sessions.

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  29. No YALI you are wrong.If the concourt had passed the verdict last night it could have been a very unfair verdict due to the fact that both parties had not adequately presented their cases.So leave the concourt alone to pursue the due process of the law and arrive at a fair verdict.Afterall extending by 4 days will have justified the 14 days within which this matter should be heard and resolved.

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  30. Its clear the judges of the constitutional court do not understand their function neither do they understand the constutional mandate they hold. I would suggest, after this circus is done they take a 6 months training course in South Africa with the constitutional court there. Firstly this is a serious matter, the full bench must make or decisions not one judge. secondly when they is a law passed by the legislative arm that contradicts the bill or rights or infringes on the rights of Zambian citizens, that must over rule that law and instruct the legislature to amend it so that it is in line with the rights of citizens. In the case of the 14 days finalisation of petition it is clear to a lay man the lawyers on both sides can delay the process through legal tactics that ensures the 14…

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  31. @Zedoc, Sitala in the first place said 14 working days( that was right), but after some pressures from somewhere she changed to 14 days( but remember on Saturdays and Sundays they were not sitting, so that was unfair to UPND), Chibomba earlier on also said its 14 days, but later changed and gave each side 2 extra days. Chibomba probably considered the Saturdays and Sundays they were resting in-steady of working and also delays created by PF lawyers. So we have 2 Judges here who have changed their positions concerning the 14 days, now what surprises me most is Yali and PF supporters are not talking about Sitali, but about Chibomba, some Villager has even started tribal talk which every well meaning Zambian is not interested in. If it means condemning, lets condemn both. Lets have fair…

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  32. Isn’t it within the law that voting takes place from 06hrs to 18hrs but we find that in almost every election voting goes beyond the stipulated hours??Why?Simply because we don’t want to see other citizens’ rights trampled upon.So similarly we don’t want to see petitioners unfairly treated by trampling on their rights to be heard.

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    • The concept is normal time is 06:00 to 18:00.

      This starting and ending time can vary, but in all cases the timeframe remains 12 hours for any given polling station.

      So you are trying to use an example that does not support you.

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  33. EVEN SOME HARD CORE CRIMINALS SHOW MOVING EMOTIONS AT TIMES- SO MUCH FOR HOLDING BACK THE INAUGURATION OF A LEGITIMATELY ELECTED PRESIDENT
    ===================================
    Lately, I have come to know HH as a heavily emotional and an unusual complainant individual Zambia has ever witnessed. A highly weak, vindictive and delicate fella with absolutely no remorse whatsoever. The buying time approach HH has brought to the fore to an extent where even the Judge is moved by emotional appeals of the petitioners leaves much to be desired. I only get to here of the courts mercy exercised when the accused is sentenced and he is pleading for a more lighter sentence on account of being the first offender or breadwinner; not on account of a strange emotional passion of a petitioner, strange…

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    • … indeed. Behold! therefore that court proceedings outside the 14 day framework is not only illegal but treasonous. ECZ chair already said it, ECL must be inaugurated. If allowances are paid per court session, its time up barristers.

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  34. Ok! If the judge concluded the case at 23.59 on what bases will she make the judgment if another has been presented by the lawyers. Hence moving the case to Monday. 14 days is not enough for cases of such magnitude. If she concluded the case same people will be complaining that she concluded the case without bases.

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    • EVEN AT 23:59 THE JUDGE COULD HAVE CONCLUDED THE PETITION ON THE BASIS THAT THE PETITIONERS HAD FAILED TO ARGUE THEIR CASE “WITHIN THE STATED LEGAL PERIOD” AND COULD HAVE PROCEEDED TO THROW AWAY THE PETITION. TIME IS PART OF THE LEGAL PROCESS. IF YOU ABROGATE IT, YOU LOSE THE CASE.
      IF YOU THINK THE MATTER OF THE PETITION IS VERY IMPORTANT, THEN YOU MUST GIVE IT THE ATTENTION IT DESERVES EVEN WITH RESPECT TO TIME BOUNDARIES. EVERYTHING ASSOCIATED WITH IT IS VITAL, TIME INCLUSIVE.

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  35. I guess if you were Egyptian will could have complained to Moses. HH is right, it’s only that Zambia enjoy living in poverty.

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  36. The idea was to frustrate the petitioners. It didn’t work. They were already saying ‘game-over’. Sorry, the game is still on. It ain’t over yet; just happen to be on commercial break.

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  37. The Concourt erred at law and misdirected itself when it chose to extend the 14 day period. This is a technical knockout for the petitioners team as any decision in their favour will be deemed null and void, since the court is acting outside of its mandate. Zambians must learn to read and should not use emotions where logic and facts need to be employed.

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  38. UPND should get the services of one retired self proclaimed lawyer and failed politician Miyanda. Let us see how shallow his intellect is. Instead of always trying to bore us with nonsense arguments and quoting law books, let him show his mettle among the learned.

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  39. @ Democrat, its you who should learn to read. No one can go against the con court ruling, so no one can declare its decision null and void, its decision is final.

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  40. I don’t trust this court I can predict the verdict its like watching a fiction movie you know the next act before it plays.

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  41. We are of the view that YALI is being partisan because they have chosen to condemn the court based on the fact that the decisions of the concourt are final. The court had earlier ruled that the case would be heard from 2 through to 8 September 2016. If YALI says changing earlier decisions is illegal then the illegal decision is one that was made later saying trial ends on 2 September 2016. If YALI was not partisan why did they not condemn that decision that tended to change the earlier one. It’s this selective condemnation which makes us believe this organization is not good for Zambia’ democracy. This organization seems to be run by one man press releases.

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    • I totally agree with you. Even the compromised ConCourt soiled corruption-pron judge Ann Mwewa (Sitali) realised that it could not pronounce its predetermined decision without hearing the case.
      This extension to some extent in the best interest of the Corrupt ConCourt so that it can save its face when the sh.it hits the fan!!
      YALI is dominated by one PF corrupt youth called Isaac Mwanza doing Wako ni Wako and has been paid by Edgar Lungu to be issuing such statements. YALI as an organisation is broke and left with no Funding after they squandered the money they got from USAID; and quite rightly the NGO has stopped funding them as a consequence.

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  42. YALI is correct. First thing Monday, the Judges must correct themselves by ending the case because it had run out of time and to apologise to HH and GBM, for giving them false hope before moving on to COSTS. Concourt must correct itself, it’s unacceptable. Maybe a peaceful March to the courts by citizens may help them to see how concerned citizens are.

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  43. YALI position could also have set a dangerous precedence where the respondents in petitions would be employing delaying tactics in order to make it hard for the petitioner to effectively prosecute the matters. This we believe this was a PF strategy. In the interest of fairness and justice the court made a decision that we believe will help bring the matter to a much better conclusion albeit late. It’s injustice to frustrate the petitioners to prosecute their case.

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  44. Since when have you PF thugs and Thieves ever followed the Constitutional requirements of law? Only when it works against you. Did Lungu step aside during the Petition, Did Minister stop work, was Kaizer Zulu arrested for slapping the lady at the fuel station in Lusaka,
    You are just there to milk the country. Explain how Kenndy and Kaizer have bought a housing complex in Cape Town at US$50 Million. Check the Records at Real Estate South Africa Inc.

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  45. Consistency with our Laws is what is missing in our Courts. When the new Consitution says Parliamnet shall be dissolved three months before elections or whatever, we counter all daysincluding weekends. When our presidents die we say Elections should be held within 90 Days and that includes weekends. Why not argue abt the simple 14 days. 14 days is fourteen days and no two ways around it. Judges please don’t fail the nation and show integrity by being consistency in your judgements. Thank you!

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  46. Consistency with our Laws is what is missing in our Courts. When the new Consitution says Parliamnet shall be dissolved three months before elections or whatever, we counter all daysincluding weekends. When our presidents die we say Elections should be held within 90 Days and that includes weekends. Why argue abt the simple 14 days. 14 days is fourteen days and no two ways around it. Judges please don’t fail the nation and show integrity by being consistency in your judgements. Thank you!

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  47. Who is YALI really? These misguided and corrupt youths who squandered Funding given to them by USAID and have recently been paid Edgar Lungu to make noise about the ConCourt!
    Since their ConCourt did not hear the case, HOW the hell does YALI think the compromised ConCourt can even pronounce the pre-determined outcome of this case?
    YALI is nothing but a legalised offshoot of unemployed riff raff PF Youths that extort money from the public – ALL of them are mother fuc.kers!!

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  48. Instead of YALI running to the press to issue such misleading statements, they could have at least first sought the counsel of the concourt to try and understand the laws or principles they applied in coming to a decision of an extension. And then make comments if they still needed to. This in itself is contempt of our courts.

    This statement shows that this group does not respect the interlect of one of the highest institutions of our land, but are instead issuing pro pf statements.. on the wrong platform.. the press. There are no good intentions in this. It should not have been for the public. It smells of PF propaganda.

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  49. MANY PF BLOGGERS ARE GOING ROUND AND ROUND. THE SIMPLE AND STRAIGHT FORWARD ISSUE IS, WHY IS EDGAR LUNGU NOT FOLLOWING THE CONSITITUTION WHICH HE ASSENTED INTO LAW WHICH SAYS IN THE EVENT OF A PETITION, HE SHOULD STEP DOWN AND ALLOW THE SPEAKER TO TAKE OVER UNTIL THE MATTER IS DETERMINED?

    WHY IS LUNGU CLINGING TO POWER ILLEGALLY …EH! MR ‘WALK THE TALK’? YOU ARE BREAKING THE CONSTITUTION BY EVEN COMMANDEERING THE ARMY TO GO TO EVEY CORNER OF THE NATION. FOR WHAT?

    THERE IS NO PRESIDENT RIGHT NOW. PATRICK MATIBINI IS SUPPOSED TO BE ACTING PRESIDENT. WHAT ARE YOU SCARED OF KANSHI?

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  50. HE RISKS BEING PHYSICALLY REMOVED LIKE LAURENT BAGBO OF COTE DE VOIRE. DONT ALLOW TO BE SO EMBARRASSED. LEAVE ON YOUR OWN.

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  51. The con court has actually set the best precedent in that the people will now be availed the evidence from both sides which could have ordinarily been hidden under the carpet if the con court verdict was to be made without hearing from either side. Let the people hear for themselves the arguments from the petitioners and the respondents
    This would have created total anarchy in the next elections as many people would not have seen the need to ever vote again, knowing that their votes did not matter in any way since a predetermined conclusion existed ans as a result our economy and the well being of our dear country would forever have been muzzled

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  52. Whilst we are at it can we kindly have a ruling on Article 103 and 104? Why is the Court shying away from its mandate? John Sangwa warned us as to the competence of the Judges on the Concourt…tuchili tuledabwa.

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  53. CBut, above all the legal and constitutional technical niceties lie Substative Justice! Justice must not only be seen to be done, but must be done!

    First, the Constitution provides for fourteen days – it does not talk about a fortnight or two weeks, why use the word days? The Constitution is precise, forteen days, remembber? ordinarily when legal, contractual, or business cavenants or promises are made they refer to working days, excluding weekends and public holodays.

    Second, the Constitution refers to Hearing, but does not specify the actual Trial and determination, why? We know that hearing relates to the preliminary matters preceding the Trial, and not to the trial itself! Why then must the Petition not to be the subject of Trial?

    The highest Court in the can amend or repeal…

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