The Electoral Commission of Zambia has set 26th June, 2018 as nomination dates for mayoral and council chairpersons by elections in Lusaka, Kasenengwa, Chasefu, Chipangali, Lumezi, Lusangazi, and Chifunabuli Districts, two days before the Constitutional Court hear the question on serving councillors in affected districts.

The good news for political parties and councillors is that ECZ is prepared to accept the nomination of any councillor who is adopted by any party or decides to run for these elections without requiring a councillor/deputy Mayor or Vice Council Chairperson to resign their positions.

The Constitutional Court, one of the highest court in the land will on 28 June, 2018 will now be limited to determining whether a councillor who wins mayoral or council chairperson elections would have to resign at all.

ECZ has already filed before the Constiturional Court that only Members of Parliament are the ones not eligible to contest elections, a position that has now created a level-playing field between serving councillors and non councillors to contest mayoral and Council Chairperson elections.

Shortly after ECZ filed their position before the Constitutional Court, the Commission proceeded to announce nomination and elections dates for elections, paving way for councillors, deputy mayors and Council Chairpersons who intend to run for these elections to do so, without any need for them to resign.

State institutions in Zambia don’t wait for the Courts to decide a matter which is before Court before they could proceed with discharging their mandate. ECZ had upto August 16, 2018 to conduct mayoral by elections for Lusaka.

The Courts in Zambia also operate in their own world. They care less about whether processes are turned into academic exercise or not. When the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) had moved the Court to order that Ministers vacate from office during time petition was filed, it was the Court that protected the ministers and refused to grant that order. However, shortly before the 2016 general elections, the same Court ruled that ministers had stayed illegally and ordered them to pay back, when they had watched them stay and refused the LAZ applications for them to leave. The result is here to be seen today as to who has paid back even a ngwee.

That is why it was strategic for those who petitioned President Lungu’s eligibility to stand again in 2021 to do so many years before the 2021 general elections because time doesn’t wait for anyone. It was also strategic that the question of councillors was put before the Court and ECZ had to explain to the Court, paving way for councillors, deputy mayors or vice chairpersons who intend to contest to do so.

Basically, the decision of ECZ to announce election dates after it filed its position in the Constitution Court has opened up an opportunity for every councillor, deputy mayor or council chairpersons to run for forthcoming elections without them resigning, and where the person wins an election, it will depend on what the Court will have said to determine whether they can hold a seat as ward-based councillor and at the same time as a mayor or council chairperson.

By Isaac Mwanza

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Politics that’s all we’re best at. Wish it could be exported and earn us the much needed forex.

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    • Yaba….in Zambia its elections and politics 365 days…no time deal with real issues…just campaign and election talk the whole year…it was never like this in the previous govt

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  2. It just doesn’t make any sense for any political party to feature non councillor, with non experience as councillor when they could have featured someone who already understand Local Govt.

    To me, Miles, Maureen, Hapunda and many of these eying councillorship don’t qualify and will be another experiment for Lusaka. I can vote for Fisho Mwale or any serving councillor. Failure to that, ain’t going to vote at all

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  3. Kkkkk! True indeed. Politics is the only employment a Zambian can expect to get irrespective of whatever they studied.
    Look at all those unemployed Adults and Youths in Mongu that went to attend a meaningless meeting by Lungu. Some of them like Kabinga Pande, Josephine Limata, etc had ministerial jobs but are now unemployed, have nothing to do and still want to eat from ba kawalala – literally licking Edgar Lungu’s Ars.se. It is shameful but they have to do it because PF have failed to create jobs and are still destroying the economy even more! Zambians deserve this and even worse because you’re tolerating those thieves to steal at will when you could have kicked them out. Worse is coming by August as Foreign Reserves will be depleated by PF thieving!

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  4. ECZ doesn`t determine who should stand, thats the constitutions role. this continued state capture of institutions needs to come to an end and those charged with explaining, interpreting the law beefed up to do a proper job.

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  5. I am of the suggestion that the constitutional barriers for any Zambian seeking public office should be removed so that every citizen of our country can decide at anytime to run for public office without losing their current office in order to create a fair and free atmosphere to all. Thus, even those civil servants who intend to vie for those offices should be allowed without losing their current jobs to avoid discrimination as long as they are Zambian. The constitution should not favour a certain group or clique of citizens when they all have every right to change course of their life’s political involvement. What do others say?

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