Constitutional Court Judge Enoch Mulembe has ordered the matter in which 52 UPND Members of Parliament stayed away from the Presidential address on March 17th, 2017, to proceed to the full court for determination.
This was in response to an application by the opposition UPND to have the petitioner’s action struck out.
In the case of Richard Mumba versus Garry Nkombo and 51 others, the petitioner has asked the Constitutional Court to declare the seats vacant for misconduct.
This is in a matter where 52 UPND MPs stayed away from the Presidential address of the National Assembly which is provided for under article 86(1) of the Constitution of Zambia amendment Act 2 of 2016.
The petitioner further prayed to the court that the 52 MPs should NOT be allowed to re-contest their seats during the life of the current parliament provided for in article 72(2) (C) and Article 72 (4) of the constitution.
In response the respondents made an application to strike out the petition on grounds that the petition and the affidavit verifying facts did NOT disclose any cause of action against the respondents capable of being sustained by the court.
They added that the petition was an abuse of the court process.
In his ruling, Judge Mulembe agreed with the petitioner that the issues raised deserve attention of the court to provide interpretation on constitutional implications.
He said there are important constitutional matters that include the question of jurisdiction.
Judge Mulembe consequently dismissed the application to struck out the petition, but made no orders as to costs.