Elias Chipimo speaking at the press briefing at the NAREP Secretariat
File:Elias Chipimo speaking at the press briefing at the NAREP Secretariat

A reflection on whether President Edgar Lungu having twice held office as president can run again in 2021

Introduction

There is a heated debate over whether President Edgar Lungu can run for president in 2021, having already been elected to this office twice – the first time in 2015 (when he served out the remainder of Michael Sata’s term in accordance with the pre-amended constitution) and again in 2016 (following the general election). The President’s strongest detractors believe that any attempt to justify a further term is a recipe for anarchy and are calling for fire and brimstone responses. I believe there is a calm and rational approach to this matter and I take a leaf from President Lungu himself who has expressed his opinion on the issue and suggested that those who feel differently should take the matter to the Constitutional Court.

The Argument

Those supporting the President’s position appear to rely primarily on the provisions of Article 106(6)(b) of the amended constitution. Their argument can be summarised as follows:

  •  Although Article 106(3) prevents a person who has twice held the office of President from standing again for that office, there is an exemption under Article 106(6)(b) that would make President Lungu eligible to run again
  • Article 106(6)(b) states that a person who was elected to the office of President shall only be deemed to have served a “term” if he served for three or more years
  • President Lungu only served for 18 months and did not therefore complete a “term”
  • Under Article 106(1) of the constitution, a term of office lasts 5 years.

To try and settle this matter, we can ask two questions, the answers to which would have to be “yes” in at least one instance in order for President Lungu to qualify to stand again for an election:

1. Was President Lungu elected into office in 2015, as a result of the existing Vice President being unable to automatically assume the office of President”?

2. Do the words “hold office” and “held office” in Article 106(2) and (3) mean the same thing as “term of office” in Article 106(1)?

Response to Question 1

In order to qualify under Article 106(6)(b), President Lungu would have to have been elected as a result of the person who would immediately have assumed the office of president (following the death of Mr. Sata) being unable to do so. This was not the case. Elections in 2015 were not held because there was no immediate successor eligible to automatically assume the office of president; they were held because the constitution required a fresh presidential election, regardless of availability of a suitable successor.

To put this response another way, for a person to qualify for the exemption under Article 106(6)(b), that person has to have been elected to the office of president as a result of an election held in accordance with Article 106(5)(b) – an election resulting from the fact that the Vice Presidential running mate could not immediately assume the office of the president without an election. Such a situation has not arisen before and could only arise after the constitutional amendment had taken effect (i.e. after the amended constitution was passed by Parliament and activated). Since,therefore, this procedure was not available under the pre-amendment constitution, the answer to Question 1 would be “no”, meaning those arguing that the President can stand again in the basis of Article 106(6)(b) cannot proceed on this basis because the three year exemption does not apply in this instance.

Response to Question 2

The second question lies at the heart of the confusion surrounding this issue. It is without doubt, the more complex question and is based on an interpretation of the word “term”.

Those that say the President can stand again believe that a “term of office” for a president is five years. This is correct. However, it is not necessarily the same thing as the period when a President is deemed to “hold office”.

To “hold office” is simply to be sworn into office and serve as President until the next person is sworn into that office. This is abundantly clear from Article 106(2) which states:

“A President shall hold office from the date the President-elect is sworn into office and ending on the date the next President-elect is sworn into office”.

We can state this another way: although a presidential term is five years, a person can “hold office” for less than five years. The restriction in Article 106(3) does not use the word “term”; it uses the words “hold office”:

“A person who has twice held office as President is not eligible for election as President”.

Note that the constitution does not say:

“A person who has served two terms shall not be eligible”.

If the constitution had used the words “term of office” instead of “held office”, the President could well stand again because a term of office is at least five years. However,“holding office” is only the period between two swearing-ins. This could be five years or it could indeed be eighteen months.

The restriction on holding office is contained in Article 106(2) which states:

“A President shall hold office from the date the President-elect is sworn into office and ending on the date the next President-elect is sworn into office”.

The question to ask, therefore, is this: did President Lungu hold office from the date he was sworn-in, in 2015 to the date the next President (i.e. himself) was sworn-in, in 2016? If the answer to this question is “yes” then he has already held office once. If he resigns tomorrow and his office falls vacant and Mrs. Inonge Wina is sworn-in, he will have “held office” twice even though he will not have served even one term.

It appears that the expressions “term of office” and “hold office” (or “held office“) do not mean the same thing.

If that is the case, it will not matter that President Lungu did not serve for more than three years when he was sworn-in the first time because he will still be deemed to have “held office”, whatever length of time he served. The restriction in Article 106(3) is therefore not in relation to whether a president has served a “term of office”; it is about whether a president has “held office”, which is an entirely different thing.

For completeness, it should be pointed out that the exemption under 106(6)(b) only applies where there is a vacancy in the Presidency after the coming into effect of the amended constitution and not before so it cannot be relied upon to justify the argument in favour of another attempt at the Presidency where a person held office under the pre-amended constitution.

Conclusion

Based on the above interpretation, the current President, having twice held office (as opposed to having twice served a term of office), cannot stand again for election as President. The constitutional restriction does not refer to a person ‘serving a term of office’. It refers to a person ‘holding office’.

This is defined as being sworn-in and serving until the next person is sworn-in as President. In short, if the President resigned his office today, he would have “held office”, even though he would not have served a term of office and that is the critical distinction.

Elias Chipimo
12 January 2017

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104 COMMENTS

    • Ba Chipimo ekala fye ba mudala, if we follow those standards then Guy Scott should be dragged to court and arrested for holding office when the Constitution says only a second generation can hold office.

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    • While he’s at it, can Chipimo also explain his own failed bid for President? Talk about the elephant in the room!

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    • EC 1, ECL 0. That is law for you. You can read it any way you want but at the end of the day, there are three ladies and two men who will have the final say. Albeit, EC has helped them a bit.

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    • They will change the constitution from hold to term. Watch the space. I love corruption of zambia. Mwa mwa mwa kiss kiss kiss

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    • chipimo is right the one who is finished is our PRESIDENT who can not interpret the constitution in the right way ,shame on him ECL my PRESIDENT

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    • Chipimo has misguided himself.

      The article does imply that that circumstances in (5) do relate to the circumstances that Lungu was elected.

      His 2nd point is completely misguided. The law is very clear, it says ‘FOR PURPOSE OF’

      CHIPIMO, please come with me down:

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    • The reason why 5(b) is there is to determine whether a term of office was attained in order to ether qualify of disqualify (in clause 3) a person who has served part-term.

      Take note that it says for the purpose of clause (3).

      Thus if a person has served one full term and one part- term, if that part-term is 3 years or more then he has held office twice, else only the full term is counted.

      In this case Lungu has held one part-term, and now, this one which will be full term by 2021. The part-term was less than 3 years (actually less than two years).

      Therefore, for the purpose of clause (3), Lungu did not hold office. It was zero. Thus he is just beginning to serve a term now, and FOR PURPOSE OF CLAUSE (3), he has never held Office of President, but just starting to hold office…

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    • Take note of article 106:

      clause 5(b), the Vice-President or the President-elect shall serve
      for the unexpired term of office and be deemed, for the purposes of clause (3)—

      (a) to have served a full term as President if, at the date on
      which the President assumed office, at least three years
      remain before the date of the next general election; or

      (b) not to have served a term of office as President if, at the
      date on which the President assumed office, less than
      three years remain before the date of the next general
      election.

      Now, what does clause (3) say?

      3) A person who has twice held office as President is not
      eligible for election as President.

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    • Chipimo must take note that 5(b) exists FOR PURPOSE OF CLAUSE (3).

      That is to determine whether a person is said to have HELD OFFICE or NOT TO HAVE HELD OFFICE

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    • Very brilliant interpretation. I sure Lungu himself would agree with Chipimos argument.

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    • Chipimo please report to the ConCourt and let’s have this matter resolved. As long as the arguement is coming from you as an opposition leader it won’t receive the attention it deserves as people will say other things about you being in opposite. ECL has told us that if we are in doubt let’s go to the ConCourt. LAZ has even refused to state their position although I honestly don’t trust them. I am sure there are waiting for people like you to continue giving them information so that come 2020 I bet they will take this matter to the ConCourt and bag PF will be caught napping

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    • @peace for Zambia. Here is another scenario for you to consider: You contest an election under PF in 2011. After 24 months you resign for personal reasons. A bye election is held and a new president takes over. Another 24 months down the line the new president dies. You decide to contest again and you win the election. Are you eligible to contest the 2016 election? If Yes or No give reasons.

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    • @ 1.15 wiseone,

      I like your expansion of thought to whether we can add disjointed pieces of holding office to satisfy eligibility for purpose of clause106(3).

      The thing is the condition does not refer to possibility of dining up of past fractions of service, but the fraction of service preceeding the next date of election.

      In any case I don’t think that by natural logic, when he serves the first 24 months he would not have ‘held office’ for purpose of clause 106(3), and the second 12 months; he would not have ‘held office’ for purpose of clause 106(3).

      The question arise can these two failures make success by putting them together? The answer is NO. Because, what will be the legal basis for the summation?

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    • The number one corrupt thing is a House Fly “Lunshi” as he infects disease at will please don’t waste your time on this empty tin full of diseases.

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  1. Mushota once again trying to prove how much of a clown s/he is? Must you have an opinion over everything?

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    • Chipimo is so right and just proves why he is a far better lawyer than a politician. Unfortunately, if PF000Ls are reading this correctly, then they will attempt to amend the Constitution because Lungu has the money to bribe and intimidate the MPs in Parliament. The Kangaroo Court is finished as a credible place for justice. Just watch Lungu rig the Constitution again.

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  2. Thanks Mr E Chipimo for raising a very important distinction that many of us did not understand. I now understand clearly that the most important is not the period served expressed as Term of Office but the number of times someone should hold office (times one has been sworn in). Indeed the constitution is very clear.

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  3. Well, this is the best response to Lungu that I have seen so far from the Anti-third term camp or whatever you want to call them. I think Chipimo has put on the table a new argument and it is a strong, excellent well formulated. All the philosophers out there should be clapping salivating . We have a new argument.

    Question is why did the authors of the constitution use different terms. There must be a reason.

    That is the beauty and evil of language. It is beautiful because it can be interpreted differently by people and so foster compromise and tolerance that make us leave together. It is Evil because its ambiguity makes it difficult to apply any formal reasoning.

    Therein lies the dilemma people.

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    • I often find myself asking that question. Do the drafters elucidate their motives or is this just an inevitable technical glitch that makes lawyers earn their money?

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    • The only Bootlicker I know is @house fly cause he licks the dirty shoes of White people cleans them with his diseased tongue emanating from a rusty mouth.

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    • Elias Chipimo’s interpretation is brilliant and correctly answers Edgars Lungu’s ambition to use the Constitution in order to subvert the long held aspirations of Zambians to limit Presidential periods of service. Beyond the given legal interpretation there is an even more important moral issue which should be familiar to EL if he wishes to be a great President. It is that the desire of the Zambian people is to limit the Presidential period of service to no more than 10 years. This is why the limit was inserted in the 1991 constitution. The limitation had no exemptions and the term definition in the 2016 amendment is someting contrived by PF probably Ngosa Simbyakula.
      If you were elected twice, regardless of the period (one month or 5 years) your limit was reached and you were expected…

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    • cont………..If you were elected twice under the 1991 Constitution regardless of the period (one month or five years) your limit was reached and you were inelligible to seek to be elected a third time.
      As for Lungu sycophants, you would do well to advise your President to refrain from seeking to ‘hold Office of President’ for the third time if he does not want to destroy PF and his Presidency.
      Mr Lungu has so far not shown any signs of being a great President. This is his chance to prove that Africa does have some reasonable leaders and not mad dogs like Yaya Jammeh who would rather destroy their country for the sake of power. My challenge to Lungu is to rise above the cheap hero worshiping of his praise singers.

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  4. Well explained by Mr Elias Chipimo.Great analysis which is very correct.
    The problem is that the ConCourt who are in ECL’s pocket can simply rule that the expressions “term of office” and “hold office” (or “held office“) mean the same thing.
    We all saw what happened during the Presidential petition.The fact that ECL declared the ConCourt will agree with him speaks volumes.We have a bunch of PF party cadres posing as Judges.
    Let’s get another in-depth analysis from General Miyanda.Thanks Mr Chipimo for the good work.

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  5. Very interesting article indeed. Like I said, this issue is far from over until the con-court delivers its final verdict. However, thumbs up to Chipimo Jr. for a well laid and succinct elaboration of facts, with reference to the very document that has brought so much confusion, such that even the elite are caught in its web of interpretations.PF morons, it is your chance to counter offer what the young lawyer from Harvard has presented on this fora against your UNZA lawyer Chagwa who in my view wants to mislead the masses again like he did on ministers remaining in office after dissolution of parliament. See, grammar and wording in the constitution has been dealt with beautifully in a lay man’s language devoid of confusion. PF am waiting!

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  6. So Mr Chipimo, going by your argument, if Mrs Wina assumed the office of President in 2020 until the next elections in August 2021 she would have “held office” once. If she gets elected and sworn in in 2021 she would have “held office” twice and she cannot seek re_election in 2026 on account of having “held office” twice, even though another part of the constitution says she would not have served a “term” between 2020 and 2021. With due respect Mr Chipimo, your argument fails on this score. The only thing that would make sense is to tie the “term of office” to the “holding office”. I believe that in this situation, this is the only interpretation that the Concourt can give.

    It is this type of legal argument by Mr Chipimo that failed HH during the presidential petition where…

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    • @Terrible nio:
      What a scu.mbug you are? You don’t even know law and you are arguing with a lawyer without a technical point of view but your own idio.tic reasoning? Just go and clean more toilets in Francis Town – you are incapable of reasoning and behave like the caterpillars that you eat so much!!

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    • Mr. Terrible, your question sounds terrible. Mrs. Wina would assume office as Vice president under the 2016 constitution which has restrictions on term of office determined by the time left before the next election. The vice president would not be elected but simply take over and hold office for the remainder of the term. Our current president has already been elected and sworn in twice as president. Under the current constitution if you want to serve for 12 years as president, you just hope the presido dies in the 3rd year.

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    • Ichikwangwa cakwa @house fly kabili ena “Lunshi” alyafye ifyabola……hahahaha!

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  7. Contd…
    It is this type of legal argument by Mr Chipimo that failed HH during the presidential petition where he wasted his 14 days window demanding that President Lungu vacates office on the basis that he, HH, had launched a petition no matter how frivolous it was. Professor Mvunga argued, and rightly so, that this would be an absurdity and had no precedent anywhere in the Commonwealth. And the HH’s lawyers had no defence to their teacher’s argument. And, again rightly so, both the petition and HH’s time wasting preliminary issues failed before the Concourt as all non-Donkeys correctly know.

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  8. The Constitutional Court must provide a solution to this problem. Either CC accepts the bid from EL or CC rejects the bid from EL. Period. The Constitution requires dynamic interpretations that read the political context accurately. It was not created to serve narrow partisan interests. The CC finds itself in a dilemma. In seeking a third presidential election contest, there is an element of greed. In rejecting a third presidential election contest, there is an element of democratization and political liberalization in the spirit of Tocqueville’s democracy in America. Is the 2-term restriction really necessary or justifiable? It is all about giving chance to others to hold the highest office as opposed to clinging to power at all cost. In other words: what was the intention of the…

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    • Lungu and his PF00LISH MPs will clean up this so-called “lacuna” so that he qualifies. The Kangaroo Court cannot be relied upon to interpret this correctly.

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  9. Chipimo, you have just made EL who does not understand the constitution something to think about. So tomorrow Concourt judges will start finding ways to twist the words around

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  10. @7 ABAUME, by the way I am not a Harvard graduate but Zambian trained, but that cannot stop me from arguing with the “best”. I have absolute and unshakable confidence in my reasoning capacity. And I am not the type that expect the likes of HH to think for them all because he is an economist and a “successful” businessman.

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  11. Great Article! Is Lungu really a qualified lawyer? If he is – it is likely that he cheated to pass those difficult ZIALE exams!
    Chipimo’s analysis makes sense and is from original thinking and analysis …..not plagiarised material that a few imbeciles have been pushing!

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  12. Or fail to notice that the arguments by Prof Hansungule or Prof Muna Ndulo on the petition and other political issues are not devoid of tribal interests.
    Quite disappointing really, for supposedly prominent citizens of Zambia.

    By the way, on another subject, if GBM were to break with HH, which is inevitable anyway, will he revert to the status of monkey in a maize field in the eyes and mouths of UPND leaders and cadres? Read the signs. Have you seen that GBM has taken a hit financially with the petition and other court issues? Think about why he has sued ZESCO now for a tender (a corrupt tender) which is supposed to have been executed more than 4 years ago.

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  13. Of course if you are a Donkey who cannot think for yourself Mr Chipimo’s argument is flawless. And then you wonder what has hit you when you lose an elevtion or a court case. By the way, if Mr Chipimo argued otherwise, he would labelled a bemba monkey in certain known quarters.

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    • Your problem with your argument Mr Terrible is that you are trying to answer a legal issue with politics.

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  14. @Terrible, no one is saying that you cannot argue with the best, its just food for thought. You seem to hate HH with a passion, is it because he is a successful business morgue or because of his tribe or because he is UPND? Issues to do with the constitution cuts across political inclinations and borders on the preservation and respect of the laws that we enact for ourselves. Political pluralism and indeed expedience should not take precedence over national issues that preserve our peace and fortitude. Like I said, am waiting for a PF carder to present their case just like the Harvard trained lawyers has done, simple and we will way the arguments or you don’t like the words Harvard trained?

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  15. Where are the pf dogs ? When I explained to them that lungu ain’t eligible I was called all sorts. Hope this man has explained to you in basic words for your basic brains. #lungumustgo

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  16. Alungu ana zigo’nga. …signing the constitution with closed eyes is digging your own grave!

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  17. At least I know which lawyer to go to when I have a problem and its certainly not an embezzling outfit like Lazy Lungu and tins!!

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  18. Of all the lawyers in Zambia the only lawyer I can’t believe when it comes to interpreting our new constitution is ECL, he mislead the country on ministers holding office when Parliament was dissolved. Are u telling me u can understand again if he had to say anything concerning our constitution? He is a lawyers on paper. Well done One Chipimo. Actually let him tell us how he understood that close which he mislead the Zambians. since then he has never said anything.

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  19. The reasoning behind ALL of us who made submissions on the new constitution was that we did not want a TWO-FULL-TERMS president to want to go for another (full) THIRD term , whether or not he would hold office for 5 years or less. That is the spirit of this law. Anything departing from this is playing with words.

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  20. Imagine spending millions of kwachas to sign a document that you yourself signing do not understand? President Obama has signed serious documents in his oval office and these kaponyas who sees opportunitie in everything to make a quick buck. Don’t turn around and blame the constitution if the con-court confirms Chipimo’s position like you have done with late distribution of inputs blaming the petition, forgetting that you were busy sharing the Malawian loot.

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  21. ..its not that ECL and team do not have Chipimos version of which most of us had anyway, even on ministers holding offices after dissolution of Parley, ECL knew very well that the amended constitution meant otherwise to what they were claiming but still went ahead to implement their wrong theory….why….because power corrupts….taking advantage of the passive citizens…in Lebanon such actions would attract massed going into streets to protest…

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  22. Well laid out Mr Chipimo. Its food for thought. We now have an alternative argument to throw at ECL. I wish this was a submission the Concourt because those judges are going back to their books to justify ECL running again. Let this matter go to the Concourt and hear what they say.

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  23. Just a quick question Mr Chipimo, since you have taken a simplistic interpretation of Art.106 without considering the spirit of that clause as partly referred to by @ Engineer Farmer @ 24 above. It may be misleading for you to give each clause in Art.106 a different meaning. To use the same simplistic approach you have taken, have you looked @ definition of ‘President-elect’ and ‘presidential election’ in the constitution? You’ll see how your interpretation of Art.106(2) and (3) falls apart.

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    • If you’ve checked the definitions in Art 266 of the constitution you will see that the President-elect under Art 106 is the one who has won a presidential election which has the vice president as a running mate. This has only happened in 2016 so far. Further, if we take your simplistic view about holding office you will note that it would mean that any person who has acted as president as per interpretation in Art. 267(3)(b) of the constitution can never stand as president. That would be absurd! You’ll therefore have to take the whole of Art 106 in to context to establish the intention of the framers and you’ll see from Art 106(1) as read with Art. 106(3) that a President is expected to serve 2 five year terms. You can’t artificially separate the clauses in Art.106. They are…

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    • Chosen one, you sound lost. Those two term mean two distinctively different things yes but for you to hold office in this case you mus have either been elected in a general election, take office having been vice president or if the vice is unavailable or unqualified. Guy Scott for example did not qualify but held office as acting President until a new presido was elected.

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    • @wiseone, you are actually saying exactly what I’m saying. It is Mr Chipimo who is lost. He relies on Art 106(2) as preventing the President from standing because he was a President-elect in 2015. A simplistic view is to check definition of who President-elect is in Art266 of Constitution which says it is presidential candidate who has won a presidential election with a running mate. So holding office as Mr Chipimo is suggesting is plain wrong & misleading because President Lungu did not have a running mate in 2015. You need to check these things for yourself before you believe or form an opinion.

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  24. The con court is a corrupt institution, the president is very dull. With all the legal experts surrounding him he still is unable to get it right. All he is fixated on is to be president again inspite of his mediocre performance.

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  25. Only two people have managed to rule Zambia for more than 10 years b cos even chiluba ruled went beyond by 2 months b cos of the 3rd term bid. What is it that president ECL wants to do that he cannot do between 2015 and 2021 elections?

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  26. Article 106 clearly establishes what it was trying to achieve. Whichever terminology you use. This can be seen from the emphasis in article 106(6) when it says…. for the purposes of clause (3)……. In my opinion the only argument that would hold water against the “third term” is what Chipimo stipulates towards the end of his article. And I court “For completeness, it should be pointed out that the exemption under 106(6)(b) ONLY APPLIES where there is a vacancy in the Presidency after the coming into effect of the amended constitution and not before so it cannot be relied upon to justify the argument in favour of another attempt at the Presidency where a person held office under the pre-amended constitution.”

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    • Prof Chela, this is the logic that he is trying to put through as such the simplicity of the explanation starting with those simple questions.

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  27. It is sad and unfortunate to start discussing 2021 when we are 4 years away. Why should we be talking about 2021 when there are serious issues that needs immediate attention in this country? Combating Army worms, fighting inflation, finding a lasting solution to the sky rocketing mealie meal prices and other serious issues that affect this nation. This is laughable…. Shame on us…………..

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  28. @19 ABAUME, I have no problem where you or anybody else was trained. And if you were trained at Harvard, let me just correct your English. Morgue means mortuary, I think what you mean for HH is business “mogul”.
    I actually respected HH until he convinced me beyond reasonable doubt that politically he is an empty tin.
    By the way my team Arsenal is winning big just now, tearing Swansea into 4 pieces of meat so far!

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  29. Like it or not Chipimo is a well respected lawyer with a proven record than Lungu the interpretation above is more clear than anything you have read before. In very simple English.

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  30. For once I want to believe Mr. E. Chipimo is not a puppet of PF; or is it that He is still tribally inclined by siding with his Bemba embattled mate Kambwili? Well am not sure but I still want to examine his trend. Frankly speaking Chipimo has done better than he did regarding the concourt issue. I was perplext the time He issued a statement supporting ECL’s refusal to hand over power to the Speaker while the petition was underway. This I understand is because He did not want HH to be declared what He deserved to be declared. The Nation is watching and this is where we are trying to identify your signature Elias. This country is too big and much too diverse to be run perpetually by two tribes only.

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    • Whether Chipimo is going Bemba on us or not, his legal reasoning is impeccable. I would rather go with this than the treasonous Lungu’s crooked thinking.

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  31. lusaka times why have you removed my UPND picture you dogs

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  32. Elias CHIPIMO for president 2021
    This is the kind of thinking thats required for the next president of Zambia if we are to move to a higher level of society as a people as well as a country. We need a leader that can reason at a level thats commensurate to the demands of a developed modern society. We have failed lamentably as a society to develop ourselves because of the mediocre brains we ourselves choose to be presidents. We have made too many wrong choices as a country, thus why we keep ripping the same stupid mediocre results that keep us in the poverty cycle, with no clear direction to get out. We have been doing the same things and hoping for a different results each time. Thats total Insane. We have had a few better choices to pick from , but each time we have made the same…

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  33. stupid choices… We need someone who is educated and exposed to the world, not just a cadre that wins sympathy from the many poor Zambians.
    Kaunda over Kapwepwe, Chiluba over Mazoka, although mwanawasa over sata was a great choice. in 2011 we made the worst of all choices, we picked sata over HH. Sata gave us lungu, who is essentially sata vuvuzela.
    GUYS GUYS lets give Chipimo a chance, forget HH, ECL etc , the real deal now is Chipimo beleive you me.

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  34. Mr Chipimo Jrs explanation is quite intriguing but i think the CoCourt should put this to bed we are spending too much time debating this issue at this time(4.5yrs) away from the next election.we have more immediate issues…

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    • I agree but its Lungu who is trying to divert us from putting pressure on him to fire Dorah who absconded from work for two weeks.

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  35. Chipimo has misguided himself.

    The article does imply that that circumstances in (5) do relate to the circumstances that Lungu was elected.

    His 2nd point is completely misguided. The law is very clear, it says ‘FOR PURPOSE OF’

    CHIPIMO, please come with me down:

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    • Take note of article 106:

      clause 5(b), the Vice-President or the President-elect shall serve
      for the unexpired term of office and be deemed, for the purposes of clause (3)—

      (a) to have served a full term as President if, at the date on
      which the President assumed office, at least three years
      remain before the date of the next general election; or

      (b) not to have served a term of office as President if, at the
      date on which the President assumed office, less than
      three years remain before the date of the next general
      election.

      Now, what does clause (3) say?

      3) A person who has twice held office as President is not
      eligible for election as President.

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    • The reason why 5(b) is there is to determine whether a term of office was attained in order to ether qualify of disqualify (in clause 3) a person who has served part-term.

      Take note that it says for the purpose of clause (3).

      Thus if a person has served one full term and one part- term, if that part-term is 3 years or more then he has held office twice, else only the full term is counted.

      In this case Lungu has held one part-term, and now, this one which will be full term by 2021. The part-term was less than 3 years (actually less than two years).

      Therefore, for the purpose of clause (3), Lungu did not hold office. It was zero. Thus he is just beginning to serve a term now, and FOR PURPOSE OF CLAUSE (3), he has never held Office of President, but just starting to hold office…

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    • Chipimo must take note that 5(b) exists FOR PURPOSE OF CLAUSE (3).

      That is to determine whether a person is said to have HELD OFFICE or NOT TO HAVE HELD OFFICE

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    • 106 (3) says anyone who has twice held office is not eligible.

      But then, to determine whether someone is legally said to have held office or not 106(5)(b) was made specifically for purpose of 106 clause (3).

      Can Chipimo explain what is meant in 106 (5) (b) by the statement ‘FOR THE PURPOSE OF CLAUSE (3)’

      It will be vital for any lawyer to be too quick to speak, because there are risks of credibility with regard to public view once errors are committed. In fact for any profession.

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  36. The bigger picture here is that anybody who wants to leave a solid legacy of success has to go in the office of Presidency believing that is going to be their last term and work as if it is their last term. Why do African presidents desire to keep clinging to the post of the president even when they have no results to show for? Look at stupid mugabe, look at stupid Kabilla, look at that stupid Burundi chap, look at that stupid Gambian president….. Why why why???? Lungu you still have 4 years to work, why not maximize your performance and leave a solid legacy?

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    • Exactly. They are not there to serve. They are there to enjoy the luxuries that go with the position. That’s all.

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  37. Mwaiche Chipimo, ubushilu efyo butampa ifi fine! Next time tukomfwa ati uli Ku University of Chainama! How do you certainly agree and disagree?

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  38. Does it mean that the people who drafted the constitution are dead? If not why are they keeping quite? Why are they not coming in open to clear the masses on the issue of E.L.C qualification for 2021 election.

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  39. I applaud Elias for his apt interpretation of the constitution regarding the distinction between “term of office”, “held office” and “hold office”. Reading some of the comments here, one is given to wonder what type of education we give in Zambia that deprives people of the ability to reason logically. Or maybe it’s a language thing, the constitution had better be translated in Nyanja etc to ensure people can grasp the spirit in a lingual they can fathom naturally.

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  40. Elias Chipimo Jr explanation is lucid to the point and unassailable. It is evident though that some Zambians do not understand/misunderstand our constitution and its clauses. The advice in advanced democracies is to seek legal advice than displaying and posturing with ignorance to the public through blogging as evidenced @Terrible.

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  41. Yaba!

    The law is an abstract, could someone please put this whole thing in a mathematical equation and I’ll understand it better.

    Frustrated by the jargon! Lawyers please help!

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  42. Can Elias Chipimo interpret the law as if he is the one who won or HH or any one from opposition because there will be no vice president issue. He has taken it like only the ruling party can win in an election like that.
    If some one “holds office” for less than three years or if someone “held office” for less than three years is the same except that the other is past tense while the other is present. The qualifying part is How long did he stand in the office? It does not matter weather he was Vice President or from opposition. As long as he wins the Bye election and it is less than three years before the next election he qualifies for the next. Do not look after it from the point of view of Edgar Lungu but from the point of view of any one who qualifies to stand and wins an election…

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