The 2016 referendum irregularities didn’t negatively affect the results-Constitutional Court

Constitutional Court Judges
Constitutional Court Judges
Constitutional Court Judges
Constitutional Court Judges

The Constitutional Court has dismissed the case in which Lusaka resident Fresher Siwale sued the State regarding the legality of the August 11, 2016 referendum for lack of merit. The Constitutional Court ruled that there were irregularities in the use of the referendum regulations 2016 but that it did not negatively affect the result of the referendum.

Delivering judgment on behalf of judge president Hildah Chibomba, justices Annie Sitali, Enock Mulembe and Palan Mulonda, Master of the Constitutional Court Mable Mwaba said the court found that indeed there were procedural irregularity in the use of the referendum regulations 2016 that had not yet come into effect at the time that the referendum was held.

“We agree with counsel for the appellant that S.I No. 64 of 2016 had no retrospective effect…we, however, find that the change in symbols or the use of ballot papers that had a different frame did not in any way have a significant negative impact on the referendum so as to render it irregular and unconstitutional. We are of the firm view that the said irregularities did not depart from the essence of the referendum,” Mwaba said.

“The net result of this matter is that an interpretation of Article 79(3) of the Constitution of Zambia reveals that the provisions of the Constitution were complied with in the holding of the national referendum to the extent that the proposed Bill was put to the people.

Mwaba, however, said in terms of process, there were irregularities in the use of the referendum regulations, 2016 but that such irregularities did not negatively affect the result if the Referendum.

“As this matter raised important constitutional issues, we order that each party bears own costs,” said the court.

Siwale, who is New Labour Party president, sought the court’s determination of whether the 2016 Referendum meant to alter Part III and Article 79 of the Constitution can, in fact, proceed to be held without a Bill to be voted on having been put to the said Referendum required by Article 79 (3) of the Constitution.

Siwale was also seeking a determination on whether it was not unconstitutional and illegal for the national referendum to have proceeded in the manner it was suggested without a Bill to be voted on having been put to the national referendum as required by Article 79 (3) of the Constitution.

The petitioner also asked why the outcome of the national referendum should not be declared null and void or illegal due to the process not having complied with the provisions of Constitution, among other issues.


  1. HH and your UPND bus of “our election was stolen “, please move on. This is clearly a PROXY judgment against your so called ” we want to have our day in court” case. You will loose and waste money. It will end in defeat. The constitution court acknowledges clearly that there were irregularities in the 2016 elections, and not doubt claims of rigging in Lusaka and even your win in 3 provinces would not have affected the results of the other 7 provinces. Please move on and focus on 2021 now and stop your stolen votes song. There is a proxy judgment for you to digest

    • There is no connection between this Petition and the UPND Presidential Petition. The Right to be heard Petition is pending in the High Court. There is no question of moving on. Move on to where? Move to another rigged Election in 2021? Umulandu taubola. The Petition will haunt Lungu to his grave. Time will tell.

      The poor souls can’t just move on. They are years back deep in the past trying to overturn the unoverturnable. Whoever composed that DUNUNA REVERSE song has a strong cursing EFFECT on the entire generation of rejectamentas. Time wasters first WANTED to hold the country to ransom. But God, loving the way he is, it turns out that they are wasting their own miserable time in court. Before they know it, it will be 2021.

    • Well ask Lungu, IMF has no confidence in what PF says or does..

      IMF knows that Lungu and his bunch of thieves preach virtue to get money but practise vice.

      All the political constitutional breaches are directly linked to how IMF assess a country s credibility to stick to planned agreements.

      PF wont get any help even from China under corruption fighter president Xiping.

      Lungu should resign in the interest of the nation so that Zambia can mobilise the funds it needs to foster development. Or else Lungu and his fellow thieves should put back money they stole to fund these stalled projefts.

      KK borrowed $10 billion in 27 years and used it wisely while these PF koswe mumpotos have borrowed and stolen over $12.5 billion in less that 5 years.

      Zambians wake up!

    • Why do you fail to notice ECZ results that indicate Upnd winning in 4 four provinces? This was despite wide spread massive rigging across some provinces

  2. Do it like the Kenyan judges by making an earth shaking ruling .Declare the results null and void thereby demonstrating our judiciary’s independence.

  3. #1.4 Moya, ati the petition will haunt President Lungu to his gravel, if so, then h.h is much more haunted and will go his grave much earlier.
    Just look at the two, whose face is contorted and full of hurt and hatred? H.h of course! You will just end up sending your leader to his early grave if you dont guide him on the right path.

    • He claims he can turn Zambia around. With all that bitterness, turning Zambia around? It is a hoax. A lie. Oh! please, all you reject-folks, cry us an Ocean.

    • The only thing HH is competent in is how to sort out one Edgar Lungu. Any aspiring presidential candidate worldwide will clearly explain how they will turn things around not just shouting corruption day and night. The notion that if he “revealed” his blueprint the PF would copy it is not only *****ic but very primitive and can only exist in a mad man’s head.

    • The only thing HH is competent in is how to sort out one Edgar Lungu. Any aspiring presidential candidate worldwide will clearly explain how they will turn things around not just shouting corruption day and night. The notion that if he “revealed” his blueprint the PF would copy it is not only idi0tic but very primitive and can only exist in a mad man’s head.

  4. UPND this and that ,HH this and that.

    This is why we’ll never have an independent judiciary and a functioning justice system bcuz some *****ic citizens always wanna politicize everything .VERY UNWISE .

  5. This was an interesting case. For some reason, I didn’t hear about this case.
    Ba Concourt we are waiting for your ruling on Lungu’s eligibility case. Then depending on your decision, PF will introduce a private motion in parley on the number of times a Presidential candidate can appear on the ballot paper (it will have a retrospective effect!). Afterwards, the constitutionality of the new law will be challenged in the same Concourt. The rest will be the usual comedy!

  6. Please ignore my previous comment. I was just kidding. As you can tell, I have no talent for jokes.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  7. Wow, only in Zambians can this be allowed to happen. The Con Court is basically saying, “accept that we are corrupt” and based on the comments alot of peolpe are OK with this reality.

    SO SAD 🙁

  8. I don’t know whether you noticed, during the Justice Lisimba Commission sitting in southern province, basically what one southern chief suggested was that to stop violence during elections there should be tribal rotation for President of Zambia. How that can be done in our democracy the chief did not say, but suffice to assume that he was proposing h.h because the violence was due to his electoral loss.
    The point I want to make is that that is exactly what upndeez are fighting for but they have no balls to state it. So they will try to make the country ungovernable until somehow they “are heard”, without speaking or telking us what tgey want. But that is the tragedy of upndeez, they have contradicted themselves so many times tgat no one can take tgmhem seriously for anything good,…

    • We can not abrogate the tenets of democracy just to please one tribe. We’re 72 tribes so by simple arithmetic one tribe will have to wait for 360 to have a chance of producing a president? That chief has just exposed the tribal voting pattern in Southern province compared to other provinces. This is the reason KK took full charge of the presidency. He removed the VP position. Later he removed Kebby Musokotwane from the Unip presidency because he these people very well and what they were capable of doing to other tribes.

    • Opposition democracy will only return to Zambia when UPND cadres realise that HH like all of us will one day die just like what has happened in Zimbabwe

    • Yes, and the tribe to which this Chief belong should be the last in line. See you in 360 years ba Chief. That’s how long you need to mature politically. I hope Ichilema isn’t as stup!d and ignorant as this!

      You see, this is the kind of duffed thinking that causes wars for nothing…..thinking like you are still living Shaka Zulu era!

  9. “…there were irregularities in the use of the referendum regulations 2016 but that it did not negatively affect the result of the referendum.”

    Very contradictory… how could you have irregularities in the process and then say there was no impact or effect? There has to be some impact, it’s just the matter of degree of that impact. And you need mathematicians and statisticians to assess and measure the degree of that negative impact. Judges are not competent to measure the degree of the negative effect. Their job is to just check if the law and the constitution was abrogated. And they are saying yes it was.

    And when it comes to abrogation of the constitution, there is no such thing as a small violation… even abrogation of a word is the same as abrogation of 10 pages…

    • …Very disappointing and contradictory judgment.

    • There are irregularities in a lot of things, but those irregularities rarely affect the final result. So, just because there are irregularities does not disqualify the final result – you have to show that the irregularities affected the final result to an extent where it should be annulled.

  10. Mate an irregularity is an irregularity, especially at law there is no such thing as a small or bigger breaking of law. How do you determine if an irregularity has affected the final result? That is a very subjective determination unless you perform a science experiment, hence my point. And by way the determination of whether the final result is affected by an irregularity is a completely separate question altogether that requires a trial of it’s own… and different ‘experts’ would be required for that.

    It’s a judge trying to say the bullet by the shooter didn’t actually k!ll the victim, rather the victim died from malaria (without a medical doctor’s objective evidence).

  11. Our country lacks a constitution to uphold good governance. We need radical change, otherwise the next president will be no different from this one. These judges are compromised and would not have arrived at any other conclusions without risking being removed from their jobs. The rot has gone too deep to be treated conventionally. It’s the reason we have a government sinking our country into certain longterm poverty, while our resources are being plundered by foreigners. I ask all true patriots to engage in reflection on what could be an appropriate constitution to banish the kind of recklessness and pilfering we see going on. We will deal with the thieves at an appropriate time.

  12. An investigation of what went wrong has nothing to do with the outcome of the election. In the recent US election, there is no question that Presidential candidate and now President Donald Trump won the Electoral College Vote and Hilary Clinton, the US Popular Vote. But that has not, in any way, deterred the on-going Muller Special Counsel Investigation process. What a contrast that has been to our Constitutional Court which developed cold feet over the rigging allegations! If this is not corruption, please tell me what else to call it.

  13. UPND leaders are used to losing!!how many times has HH lost elections,then cases in courts?several times,but he still goes to the same courts-amazing!!if i were HH,i would have left local points long time ago because it is very clear that many Zambians especially the youth do not love him (HH)!!!recently UPND SG Katuka confessed that Zambian youths are to blame for HH’s loses because they dont like him and continue voting for sure Katuka saw mammoth PF rallies in Luapula and Copperbelt last week.those rallies were full of youths!!
    RIGGING OR NO RIGGING,HH STILL CANT WIN IN 2021 BECAUSE HE HAS NO NATIONAL SUPPORT!!!a lot of homes in 6.5 provinces are still full of PF supporters!!today maybe even Kambwili has more support than Kainde in 6.5 provinces!!!BRAVO CONCOURT FOR THIS…

  14. I dont understand why the president should resign with calls from upnd and after that is it that hh he will take over power or wat i think am a bit behind over this calls the bible tells as tekumaka nangu kubulamba above all this call if one day it happens just know that the trend will continue and civil war will be knocking it seems we are tired of the peace we have enjoyed this far ,hh and money he has soon if we dont retire hh from politics zambia will face troubles

  15. This is the most useless court that needs to be banished only serving their master’ s will and not the people. That’s why those Illegal Ministers never even obeyed their order by paying back the money. This has to stop we can’t be paying these fools only for them to be ruling for PF and ECL

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