THE Constitutional Court has dismissed the application for stay of execution of judgment pending an appeal hearing in a petition filed by Lusaka Central Member of Parliament (MP) Margaret Mwanakatwe.
The application was lodged following the High Court’s decision to nullify her seat due to electoral malpractices.
Constitutional Court Judge Enock Mulembe in his ruling said he did not see any need to entertain the application for a stay because a seat was not vacant until the court made a final determination.
He said he found the application for a stay irrelevant since the law, as per constitutional provisions, had stated that the seat only becomes vacant after the final determination of the Constitutional Court.
“My considered view is that I see no need to entertain this application for stay any further when, by operation of law and in terms of the Constitution, it is clear when the seat becomes vacant,” Justice Mulembe said.
Mr Justice Mulembe further urged the parties to focus on preparing for the hearing of the appeal so that the court could have the opportunity to bring the matter to a final determination.
“Considering this application has raised important constitutional issues of a public interest nature, I order that each party bears their own cost.
“For the foregoing reasons, the application for stay of execution of judgment pending appeal is accordingly dismissed,” he said.
Justice Mulembe noted that Article 72(2) of the Constitution addressed instances when the office of an MP became vacant or ceased to be one, hence his decision to dismiss Ms Mwanakatwe’s application as her appeal was not yet determined.