By Isaac Mwanza
FIRST let me clear the impression that I am against President Lungu standing in 2021; I am not and those sending me unnecessary threats to my inbox after the President has spoken a different position from mine, you are wasting time. I am not a politician but just a citizen who has every right to hold an opinion based on my understanding of the Constitution just as President Lungu holds an opinion based on his understanding of the Constitution. I doubt he asked you to silence those with a contrary opinion.
So I have a few calls from colleagues in the media asking for my reaction and my position is: respect the President’s opinion much as you respect my opinion which I have not changed because i feel an impartial Court examining my argument and authorities and those of President Lungu, if he gave any, would arrive at the better judgment. I don’t think I am wrong.
President Lungu has held office twice as President and thus, as per article 106(3), not eligible to hold office for the third time.
Do I intend to take this matter to the Constitutional Court as advised by His Excellency? No, I will not waste time approaching that Court so they could take advantage and condemn me in costs.
President Lungu cannot benefit from the provisions of Article 106(6)(b) because he was not the Vice President at a time when he first held office and neither was he elected under circumstances in article 106(5)(b).
Do I intend to take this matter to the Constitutional Court as advised by His Excellency? No, I will not waste time approaching that Court so they could take advantage and condemn me in costs. The President is empowered by the Rules of the ConCourt to refer matters of this nature to court. This could be an opportunity for him to refer the matter because he has not explained anything which is unnecessary exciting cadres to say that the nation has a final position.
So for now this debate may appear insignificant because the opposition and other stakeholders are quiet but the President will be thankful that we can talk this matter now.