Law Association of Zambia and the Constitution Court must interpret the Constitution on Lungu’s 2021 bid-TIZ

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Lee Habasonda
Lee Habasonda
The Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) says it is premature for President Edgar Lungu to start talking about 2021 general elections barely four months after he was sworn in as the President.

TIZ President Lee Habasonda says there is need to follow the constitution and called on all relevant authorities like the Law Association of Zambia and the Constitution Court must interpret the constitution and guide the nation on this matter.

Mr. Habasonda tells QTV News that it’s too early to start debating about the eligibility of the incumbent to contest in 2021 elections’ when there are serious pressing issues like the army worms, unemployment, and the economy among other issues the country is facing.

He has since urged political parties to avoid what he termed as corrupting members of the public and their supporters to stop sponsoring them to support in favor of such issues.

Mr. Habasonda says in as much as debate is health but people must not debate when they are given something but must debate with integrity.
He has however called on the president to bring it to an end for the sake of peace.

Last week President Edgar Lungu disclosed that he is eligible to stand for elections.

Meanwhile, Lusaka Lawyer Elias Chipimo Junior says President Edgar Lungu is not eligible to contest the presidency in 2021 as provided for by the amended constitution of Zambia.

Mr. Chipimo, who is also NAREP President, explains that Article 106 sub article 3 of the amended constitution says anyone who has held the office of republican President twice cannot contest as republican President.

Mr. Chipimo furthermore explains that article 106 sub 5 and 6 is very clear that only a vice President who takes over in an invent where the President is not fit to hold office by any means as prescribed by the constitution and saves for less than 3 years is eligible to contest.

He says President Lungu was not vice President at a time he assumed the republican presidency.

He has urged Zambians to debate the issue without attaching emotions.

Mr. Chipimo has also commended President Lungu for stating that citizens are free to go the constitution court to seek legal interpretation of the matter at hand saying only the constitutional court has the final say on constitutional matters.

46 COMMENTS

  1. Don’t start this battle too early. Otherwise Lungu will rig the Constitution again by having amendments in time so that I he can still stand. Remember, PF has a project to correct the so-called lacunas in Lungu’s Constitution . This could be one of the lacunas to correct as PF have the numbers in Parliament to even make him Life President.

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    • Please leave Lungu alone to concentrate on army worms. Only raise this issue of his candidature at the beginning of 2021. In the meantime, opposition parties should organise as if Lungu will stand. No need to dream of technical knockouts.

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    • Lungu has announced his candidature in 2021 in order to divert Zambians attention from the following:
      1. The Presidential Petition
      2. The Maize Scandal(which implicates him)
      3. The Scandalous Commission of Enquiry
      4. Dora Siliya’s non performance
      5. Illegal tenure of ministers last year
      6. Unfair dismissal of Chishimba Kambwili
      7. The smooth handover of PF to MMD
      So be careful. You are being derailed from real issues.

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    • Mr Lungu, at times its wrong to dance to the gallery. I personally know that as the Head of State, you are capable of doing anything by law or by decree. But I don’t think you love this country as you do its people otherwise you wouldn’t encourage discussing your 3rd term in Office. You well know the consequences of your 3rd term attempt. It will bring about bloodshed not only to the innocent Zambians but even to your person. This is how coup d’ etats have happened in several countries.

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    • Let us act as educated as we are- Lungu indeed qualifies to stand in the provisions of article 106 as he was elected under this provision. That said, people must appeal to him to act democratic and not stand.

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    • Ba TIZ just ask the LAZ and ConCourt for guidance and do not talk about what ECL said. He is free to say what he thinks is his understanding of the Constitution. If he is wrong, he will be guided – but it is not premature.

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  2. Inonge Wina has behaved with dignity. She only insulted MPs once, and apologized to them as they walked away on her.
    Debate should be on Inonge, not Edgar. Scandalous character from day Mr.Michael died, every week we hear someone living …

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  3. You have not even worked after being elected and you are talking of 2021, where are the morals. Vima problems, fulu fulu in the country and you are talking of 2021.

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  4. Personally and without supporting any side of the issue, I think this issue needs to be dealt with now and put to bed and I commend President Lungu for bring it to the fore. Waiting till 2021 would have been dangerous and led to situations like Burundi & Congo DRC. The clarity need to be made now when a lot is not at stake.

    The Honourable thing would be for LAZ to take this issue to the Constitution Court immediately because their lawyers are equally divided on this issue and that leaves the Constitution Court to give the correct interpretation and put this thing to bed.

    Just making press statements based on individual opinions will not help move the needle. Lungu has done his part and let the others do their part. take it to Constitutional Court

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    • I appreciate the logic in your statement. That said, LAZ is reluctant because it knows that Lungu indeed qualifies to stand in 2021 due to the provisions of Article 106, the provision reads “if the Vice President or any other person…elected after a sitting president dies…is deemed not to have completed a term if the time to the next general election is less than 3 (three) years”. This provision is clear and is superior in logic or rather clarifies the position in the earlier article that states that “a person who has twice been elected to the office of president cannot stand for election a third or any subsequent time”. 106 elaborates the earlier provision. This said, democratically and morally, civil society and opposition should appeal to President Lungu’s conscience for him…

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    • @ MMD Chief Bootlicker it is a disgruntled former MMD Chief Bootlicker now PF Chief Bootlicker who should take it to the CC. What is LAZ interest? LAZ should be apolitical. Personally I believe it is the political parties and individual members who who take this up. Best chap is Ichimbwili who will definitely contest the next PF party elections.

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    • MMD i support your view. Everybody is just making noise without knowledge. LAZ please take this issue to the ConCourt so that we can have an end to this matter. Oh PF be careful with LAZ, they will do what they did to you over the Ministers! If I were PF I would request the SG to formally write to LAZ and ConCourt to seek for the interpretation of this issues now so that if there will be need to look for another candidate PF will have enough time to groom that person for the next elections! Mark these words and if there is anyone reading who is interested in PF Presidential Candidate of ECL please do as I have advised or else you will be caught napping in 2021 pa last when you want to field the candidate. Remember the Ministers issues please please I beg you earnestly. I am in the…

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  5. I THINK MMD BOOTLICKER IS RIGHT. WE DONT NEED TO WAIT. IF FOR EXAMPLE THE ISSUE OF THE “14 DAYS TO HEAR THE PRESIDENTIAL PETITION” HAD BEEN DEBATED LONG BEFORE THE PETITION, WE WERE NOT GOING TO HAVE THE CURRENT DEBATE WHETHER HH WAS DENIED HIS SO CALLED RIGHT. LET THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT MAKE THE FINAL RULING AND WE MOVE ON. INSTEAD OF HEARING PIECEMEAL INTERPRETATIONS FROM LAWYERS WITH VESTED POLITICAL INTERESTS.

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  6. God is watching the president. Let him not think is clever than nebuchadnezzar. Let him not think he can run Zambia like Zimbabwe. Zambian dont fight with carnal means. They always fight on their knees. God is their help in times like this.

    Daniel 5:25-28King James Version (KJV)

    25 And this is the writing that was written, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.

    26 This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.

    27 Tekel; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.

    28 Peres; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

    I rest my case.

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    • It is nothing to do with the Lord my friend, Lungu is not killing Christians or drinking in church etc. Let us use logic, it is up to the people to appeal to Lungu not to use his right to stand as it is undemocratic but not constitutionally illegal. Lungu indeed qualifies to stand but it leaves a bitter taste on anyone’s palate to fathom having the same president for nearly 15 years. Civil society should appeal to Lungu’s conscience. Only the PF can stop Lungu, indeed, only the voters can stop him too (at the balot).

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    • TRUE!!! Zambians will always fight on their knees against Free Masons who want to run and ruin the country with satanic rituals.

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    • St. Sweet. Don’t shoot in the dark. It is not close to 15 years naiwe. It will be 11.8years if ECL was legible to stand in 2021. What sort of closeness is that to 15years. To me, I beg PF again to formally write to the ConCourt and LAZ to seek for interpretation of these clauses so that we stop talking about this issue once and for all naimwe. ECL is a God given President for now until god gives us another one.

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  7. Last month LUNGU tried to bring about a motion to extend his term to 7-YEARS like in DRC (a failed state) but it failed miserably.

    Now he’s revived the 3rd TERM debate which has failed to gather any momentum.

    We don’t know what next he’ll do to stay in power at all costs. Maybe he’ll declare a STATE OF EMERGENCY or ONE-PARTY DEMOCRACY.

    Why is LUNGU so scared of relinquishing power? From the way he admires dictators like KAGAME, MUGABE & MUSEVENI, it’s clear he wants to die on the throne. I think he’s scared of JAIL bcoz his theft/crimes/atrocities are there for all to see.

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    • What about Omah Bongo of Gabon? They seemed to be in a jovial mood at the inauguration of Ghana’s president

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    • Lungu has started forgiving the PF renegades who stood as independents. He also needs the independent MPs to change the Constitution again. He will do this before 2021. Remember that the small print on the failed referendum was that the terms of the President, VP and ministers could not be changed without another referendum. That failed referendum has saved him. He now needs to clean up the Constitution to make sure he qualifies in 2021, and that Ministers can continue after Parliament is dissolved. Maybe even to reintroduce Deputy Ministers. Watch how the Constitution will be changed to suit his rigging habits.

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    • As it stands, the constitution allows Lungu to stand in 2021. I do not know why Zambians hate to read. That said, this is not democratic and Lungu should not stand.

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    • @7.1: Really? I mean, are you serious? Asking an African leader who has tasted the “honey” of the presidency to examine their conscience and relinquish power of their own volition? Impossible! Well, I’ll bet you the vast majority of our incumbent heads of state on the continent do believe that Madiba was a sissy to do what he did after only 5 years in office! As for our beloved and high-achieving President Lungu, forget about him chosing not to stand in 2021 on moral or democratic grounds. Whoever eats morals or democratic principles anyway? Ask the great veteran politician, Dr VJ, and he’ll tell you that “…the objective of the sitting government is to remain in government, while the objective of the opposition is to unseat the ruling party…!” Oh, Emperor ECL, live forever!

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  8. The role of AG as Chief Legal Adviser to govt is to give legal advice to govt and inturn thru the appropriate Ministry explain the mmeaning of a particular law. The AG if in doubt can seek a legal opinion from Concourt. The AG and Concourt are the two arms of govt charged with advising and interpretating the Law. LAZ is a society of lawyers which regulates the legal profession and can give a legal opnion on an issue. It is not the responsibility of LAW to interpret laws to the Public. That is the job of the Constitutional Court on behalf of the Zambian govt.

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  9. I for one feel this matter needs to be settled once and for all , there is no need of waiting , people must be clear about what the constitution says .
    Let the learned lawyers rest this case without wasting time people want a break from speculations, any confusion must not be entertained, you can’t just sit when drums have started beating .

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  10. What type of lawyers do we have in Zambia? Wynter Kabimba says the law allows President Lungu to stand and quotes the Constitution and Elias Chipimo another lawyer tells us the Constitution does not allow President Lungu, so which constitution are these lawyers referring to. As a lay man, what I have read is that if a person has been in the office of a president for 3 years, this is termed as a full tenure of office and as such it is counted as a term. As for the current President the first term was less than 3 years and therefore it can not be counted. May I be enlightened by Mr. Chipimo, does it mean if someone was to be a president for a month after the demise of a sitting president, the one month can be considered as a term? Chibangubangu Solwezi

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  11. Zesco, please we don’t have power in Kabangwe from 06hrs in the morning and its now 12 40. What is the problem kanshi. This is the only forum I can use. There are maximum reshuffles and appointments of management at Zesco which we are told are to improve service delivery but things are not improving. For crying out loud, our load shedding is 6 to 10 in the morning. What is wrong with this organisation?

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  12. After reading through the law, article 106 is clear and Lungu is right when he says he is eligible to stand in 2021. This said, it is legal but not democratic. What law bodies and other organizations should do is ask Lungu to search his conscience and do what is right. It is undemocratic to serve a term as long as he intends to and the Patriotic Front must gather strong opposition within itself as MMD did before the 2001 elections. Lungu can stand, the law allows him to (it ia a bad law) but there is no guarantee that he will win 2021 elections, if anything this pushes neutral voters to give HH the go.

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  13. …the title must have read…Let LAZ and Concourt explain the implication of the mention of ELC and Dora in Malawi maizegate and if it is in order for them to keep quite….
    ..LAZ is not mandated to interpret law to the public …they can only issue their opinion….

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    • ..and concourt can only do that when it receives official petition…Let TIZ or LAZ do the needful

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  14. A wise good leader would not have entertained the 3rd term debate. He would have said that he is not going to stand. Lungu is corrupt and news about Malawians heading to Lusaka over the maize gate scandal is world news today

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  15. PEOPLE WERE TOO QUICK TO ASK FOR A NEW CONSTITUTION. BUT IT SEEMS THE NEW CONSTITUTION HAS MORE PROBLEMS THAN THE OLD ONE. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT LUNGU QUALIFIES TO STAND AS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE EVEN IN 2021. BUT THE GREATEST QUESTION SHOULD BE: HAS HE PERFORMED WELL ENOUGH TO DESERVE ANOTHER TERM IN OFFICE? DOES THE PF WANT HIM TO STAND? DO THE VOTERS WANT HIM TO STAND AGAIN?

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  16. Whatever he wants to do after 2021, let him do it between now and 2021 election. Even some people who died yesterday left their wives pregnant.

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  17. It’s painful to learn that morality in Zambian politics ended with death of late President Mwanawasa (mhsrip). The rest of the politicians have their pockets not the nation at stake. Where are the men and women of integrity like Aka, the late lucy Sichone, the origin Fred Mmembe, Bright Mwape and Masauso Phiri. What is wrong with this generation poverty has spoiled your brains. Poverty and inequality has robbed the country of the much needed morals and this will have serious effects on national development. Extractive institutions are in control disguised in democracy and fake christianity. I don’t know where we are going but soon, I will join the battle front.

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  18. It is healthy to discuss matters before it is too let, ofcourse there are too many holes in this new constitution well people faught for it tooth and nail , now here we are there is an elephant in the room what to do next .
    Let us engage dialogue than being arrogant and allow free speach on this important issue , let people have it settled before hynas come and create anarch.
    Is Lungu really elligible to contest election again ?
    Zambians think to gether as brothers and sisters not as enemies

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  19. That is why people go to court – to have the law interpreted. If all laws were clear, there would be no contests. There are particular laws such this (and depending on how it has been phrased) whose ‘real’ meaning can only come from a courts ruling. But even then, the initial court maybe wrong and it would then require a higher or the highest court to make a decision. The final decision that sets the precedence may constitute a odd number of judges, for example, with three going for one interpretation and the other two dissenting. Lawyers do not necessarily have to agree on the meaning of a law. Why do you think they are usually on opposing sides in court? Part of the interpretation may require to ask the framers of the clauses, what they intended.

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  20. People should also remember that Law and Justice are not necessarily in tandem. Most courts are courts of law, rather than justice. Even the final decision of the highest court may not be just. It is better to try and institute laws that will be just in the first place, than to make bad laws that you will still be obliged to interpret – even if the result injures one or several parties ( for example, the Presidential Petition. Regardless of what the law says, justice, i.e. the natural justice principle to ‘be heard’ was never properly accorded to the UPND)

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  21. @Shot Put
    Disagree with you on 6.
    Kambwili is required to further appear in the courts of law for office abuse and stolen money meant for youths.
    @ MMD Chief Bootlikcer
    That prescription is the only way we can cap abuse of our constitution. Let LAZ with others contest the Con Court and provide direction on Lungu’s premature 2021 ambitions. In addition, our democratic institutions at the moment, ECZ, Courts and some judges do not inspire the nation that credible elections can be held in Zambia. Yes, Lungu has said his part and he is capable to go to any length to achieve his aim, even if it means loss of life as evidenced in 2016 elections. Now is the time for national direction over his 2021 bid.

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  22. Constitutionally Lungu qualifies to stand, it’s up to the PF to allow him at their convention in 2020 and it will be up to the Zambian people to elect again or not. What he does now and then will determine every thing,no one will think of going to court over this matter they all know that he is eligible to stand ask those disagreeing in confidence they will tell you that he is eligible. Fight not the truth.

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  23. I don’t know why as Zambians we are wasting time debating silly comment passed by lungu. Pa ****** pake lungu

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  24. Imwe ba TIZ please don’t be like donkeys, we have too many of them and in fact they need cropping.
    1. LAZ is compromised and useless and discredited
    2. As for Concourt, has His Excellent Chagwa Lungu lodged in his nomination for the 2021 election? On what basis are they gonna hear and determine the case?

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