YALI Advisor Isaac Mwanza
YALI Advisor Isaac Mwanza

By Isaac Mwanza

ZAMBIA’S Constitutional Court will this Friday determine the eligibility of President Lungu contesting the 2021 elections. This has seen some media houses using every available means and persons to coward the Court into determine this matter based on the biased political views some analyst may hold.

Without adding more to this debate, the Constitutional Court should be left to independently determine this matter the same way the Court did with the eligibility of serving councillors who had wished to contest mayoral elections. In fact, anyone who has carefully read that judgment on councillors will understand the opportune time for making a determination of questions of such a nature the Court is confronted with. No one who has been before this Court like me would doubt the thoroughness with which the Court determines these questions.

The simple fact and truth is that the Constitutional Court will not determine the eligibility case based on whether President Lungu held office of the President once, twice, three times, etc. The question before the Court is, whether the first time President Lungu held office should be counted as President Lungu’s term of office or not, in view of provisions of Article 106.

In short, the parties to this case do not contest the fact that President Lungu was first elected in 2015 and later in 2016. However, the contention is whether the first term that lasted less than 3 years should be counted or not counted as a term for the President.

To me, the question at this point is whether the Court will allow a situation where the Constitution must be read as a whole or it must be read selectively – picking one part to apply to the question of President Lungu and leaving another part as not applying to him. This is wher the meat is. If the Constitution is read as a whole and not selectively, we may see President Lungu being declared eligible but if the Constitution is read selectively to only pick one portion and leaving another, the President may not be eligible.

Fortunately, the only Court with competent capacity to make this determination is the Constitutional Court and not analysts who may be hired or politically biased. There is one team that feels the Court only acquires legitimacy if it rules against Edgar Lungu – that is a wrong approach to matters of law.

In view of the above, Zambians must respect the decision of the Court – whichever way the Judgment must go on December 7, 2018. I say this because, having been a petitioner before this Constitutional Court and arguing the case of councillors effectively, one must always expect the case to go either way.

It is thus unfortunate that preceding the December 7 judgment, a lot of money has gone into some media houses with a view of discrediting the Court ahead of the Judgment. They have questioned the integrity and the experience and capacity of judges – the very judges they went before so they can make a determination. We all have a duty to contribute towards protection of judicial independence and integrity of the Court by doing what we can to avoid bringing the Court into public disrepute and odium.

The Judges of the ConCourt know that they are permitted to make independent decisions. In any adversarial legal system, you don’t expect everyone to agree with the Court judgment but the Court must be brave enough to deliver its ruling without paying so much attention to sponsored persons that have been hired to discredit the Court and cast doubts on it.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of any institution the author may be affiliated nor this media house but represent the views of the author

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56 COMMENTS

  1. Yali concourt judges represents zambians and they operate independently. Stop brainwashing under5s to think that judges are told what to do.

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    • Most politically biased analysts think Court must rule against Lungu. They have mounted serious campaign to discredit the ConCourt. Editorials and long articles like Sishuwa. Me surprised. Is justice only when the court rules against Lungu?

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    • What is stopping Lungu and PF from funding programs to counter what’s happening at Prime TV, ND, Mast where HH nd UPND are sponsoring anti Lungu programs ahead of Friday? Truth is HH now knows power of media to make Zambians rise against Court and Lungu after Friday

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    • Zambia has an important ruling on 7/12/2018 whether president Lungu is eligible to stand for 2021 presidential elections..I strongly believe the ruling should be is favor of Lungu..But bein me, I am wondering what would happen if it did not go that way?

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    • @monde, PF are more intelligent than Hakainde’s under 5. They know that court cases are won in courts not on muvi tv

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    • Everyone already knows the verdict. The disgraced ConCourt quickly passed judgments on Mwanakatwe & Nkandu Luo to test the waters to see peoples reaction.

      What they don’t know is that Lungu will NOT be president beyond 2021. By the bullet, by the ballot, by the bible, by the gun, freedom shall come.

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    • Lungu himself has threatened Judges with punishment should they Rule against his Third Term wish. These Judges were appointed by Lungu so they have no choice but to Rule in his favour. The Judgement was made by the State Captured Concourt Judges a long time ago. There is no second guessing here.

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    • Fact that none of the Constitutional Court Judges are not qualified to be in that position according to LAZ, all their decisions are null and void!

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    • The constitution is like the Bible and the basic premise of sound theology is that scripture backs scripture.

      That’s why when the devil tried to tempt Jesus using scripture, He responded back using scripture to discredit his manipulative objectivity.

      Jesus’ responses knocked the devil off his kilts because scripture supports scripture. In the same vein, I am not a lawyer and I don’t ever intend to be but I have read the entire constitution.

      Based on reading in entirety a term is a 5 year mandate and does not include finishing one from one deceased President to another.

      Further more, ECL ascendency to finish MCS’s term was under the old constitution this even carried forward to the amended constitution.

      Based on these premises and others from more articles, ECL is eligible…

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    • Continued…

      Based on these premises and others from more articles, ECL is eligible unconditionally to stand for his own 2 full terms and that will be the verdict come Friday.

      Sorry Chipimo, sorry M’membe, sorry Hakainde and well done General Miyanda, well done Rev Pule and team.

      The rest just be ready to meet Lungu at the polls in 2021. So far he still has my vote, it’s incumbent upon you to convince me you’re better alternatives.

      But so far, you’re just a bunch of whiners.

      Whining Is Not A Winning Strategy ~ B R Mumba, Sr

      Original Content, No Copyrights Reserved.

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  2. Wait , but Edgar Lungu already warned and cautioned Zambian judges not to try the Kenyan version of judicial independence .

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  3. SENSE! SAW CHIPIMO ALSO ON PRIME TV TRYING TO UNDERMINE JUDGES. HE THINKS COURT CAN ONLY DELIVER JUSTICE WHEN RULES AGAINST LUNGU. SAD.

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  4. Yes, the general rule is that the Constitution must be read as a whole and not selectively. This makes Lungu to qualify to stand in 2021!

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  5. I like YALI guys,the intellectual ability of these YOUNG MEN IS AWESOME because they speak truth.kudos Isaac MWANZA and MTEWEWE for supporting the grand Job of CON-COURT.

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    • I like fact that he says question is on whether constitution must be read as a whole or selectively. This opens my mind how Lungu qualifies to stand as when Constitution is wholly read or stops Lungu when court chooses one article and refuses to apply another

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  6. I kept asking myself a question, so Chipimo went to Prime TV to fall in HH scheme to discredit ConCourt? Chipimo why? why? Why are u guys scared of Lungu standing?

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  7. When the Court made pronouncement in the councillors case about how President are elected after 2016, I knew the would rule in favour of Lungu even in this eligibility case. The court was clear in tht councillors case

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  8. HH is biggest loser in this. Man is scared of Lungu and wants us all to believe ConCourt is compromised. Using News Diggers, Prime, Muvi and Mast to carry out campaign against ConCourt. HH forgets cases are won in court and not public gallerly

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    • Why is HH always blamed for anything wrong happening in Zambia? is it coz he has money? it it coz he is Tonga? come on Zambians! give him a break!

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    • @Hams the devil causes lots of problem in this world. The devil has resources and extra powers than humans. HH is equivalent to devil who uses money to buy everyone like Chipimo and ND. No matter what, I cant vote for the devil. Allow court peace to determine this case.

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    • @ Ka Cindy

      you’re the biggest shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitiiiiiiiiiii of all the bloggers on LT…….lol

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    • Money has gone to brains of HH. He can’t think properly. Let that 5 time loser just prepare for the next loss. No matter what u say, ww shall vote Edgar again and again

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    • @KALUMBA next time you think of steal HH’s votes think 99 times. Look now, you spend sleepless nights. When you anybody mention HH you camper like rates.

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    • Hans..HH is blamed NOT because he is Tonga …you are just being tribal . He is blamed as an INDIVIDUAL,previously involved in questionable things like privatisation thieft, Free Masonry etc. These are individual issues.Leave out the Tonga tribal vibe ok.

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  9. This funded campaign to discredit ConCort ahead of Dec 7 must never be tolerated. Hakainde must stop his nonsense now. why did he allow his SG to join case it they don’t trust ConCourt?

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  10. So some ritual is done and dusted in Luangwa Valley National Park in anticipation of ConCourt ruling in favour of ECL! It now makes a lot of sense! The VonCourt is already compromised and nothing renewable can come from there! We have been on this ground before! A simple case taking over two years to come up with an agreement when it is straightforward? Count me out!

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  11. There will be chaos in the country if the concourt rules against me, how do you then expect the court to rule against lungu, the verdict is already well known by even dogs and cats,

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  12. HH funds News Diggers, HH has judges on that bench who are UPND. We know them and we know how determined they are to stop Lungu. HH uses money to buy justice or run away from justice. Zambians politics will be better off without HH

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  13. I don’t know why people don’t like waiting for courts to rule. Elias Chipimo, every Jim and jack are now busy discrediting constitution court

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  14. The judgement ConCourt will make will stand as legal precedent for years to come. Let’s not be cheated the situation we found ourselves in is not first and last. And this makes the task at hand awesome, the judges must rise and be counted as patriotic Zambians who took into account peoples’ aspirations.
    The constictution must surely be read in totality and not selectively. God bless the Republic of Zambia! Zambia is our heritage!

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  15. LUNGU-MUST-GO. What else does he want. He has made his money

    We dont need court in the matter. Learn from Mandela

    These pf characters are just bloody cowards. They want him to go and they speak against him in dark corners.

    Its us the outsiders that are voicing out again him yet the day lungu is dislodged you will see how they will emerge from darkness as if they played a role

    Let us redeem mother Zambia

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  16. The day the five time loser goes is the say Lungu must go. Why cant HH also go since he madw lors of money privatising Zambia. You cant enter State House using back door. Face Lungu in an election and convince Zambian peoples.

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  17. The day the five time loser goes is the say Lungu must go. Why cant HH also go since he madw lors of money privatising Zambia. You cant enter State House using back door. Face Lungu in an election and convince Zambian peoples.

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  18. Zambians trust Lungu more than they can trust Hakainde coz Lungu is better devil than HH. Sadly, the media is awash with commentaries aimed at discrediting ConCourt. Hansungule, and all those who are known UPND analysts are busy trying to psyche our minds not to accept outcome. Lungu will stand because Constitution has to be read as a whole. we cant set bad precedent to please Hakainde and UPND

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  19. LPM allowed sata to mingle and move around Zambia under the current POA

    Whats wrong with Ck going to his constituency and hear from his people. We have a head of state allows oppression and please don’t blame IG.

    And dont cheat yourself that life under hh and gbm will be better.

    It will be horror. Nightmare.

    Who is talking in upendi if not one person. And the combination with gbm will turn Zambia into worst corrupt and un democratic nation by the duo and no one will be allowed to talk.

    HH has already proved to be un democratic. His party was created before PF. MMD and PF have since changed leaders but upendi cant entertain that.

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  20. With PF dictatorship in control, constitutional court judges are a group of muppets. We need to get rid of this gang of thieves before things get worse.

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  21. To lungu and his supporters, that this has even gone this far is a damming indictment of the failour of lungu in bringing the country together….

    Considering lungus time in office, no other president has had so much funds to work with like lungu has, alas the country should be in unison calling for his continuation.
    But because of lungus percived corruption, which I may say he does not deny, and his lack of integrity , morals and the degradation of Zambias democratic space as seen by the continued harassment of opposition like Harry kalaba and others, there are large sections who want lungu out and in a court of justice,
    For a president and his suppoters who think lungu has done so much for Zambia , this is indeed an embarrassment and you find them even blaming people like HH for…

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  22. You know that thing they call ‘Jury of Peers’, this one is a case of ‘Bench of Peers.’ As everyone already knows, it was found out (by John Sangwa) that none of them is experienced enough to being concourt judge, and if this is the case how do we expect them to be independent? After all they all happened to have been ECLs course mates.
    I expect bias which ever way the ruling goes. They will probably just make an educated guess.

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  23. The so called court has no powers. They ruled that ministers pay back the money, what has happened? Nothing! They can rule that Lungu is not standing and Lungu can ignore them. What will happen? Nothing! Just get busy stealing, rob everyone, steal, steal steal until there’s nothing to steal! Go on !

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  24. Dont turn PF into upendi with a life president dictator.

    People don’t vote for pf because of ecl.

    They vote for pf because upendi moves in someone s pocket.

    He is the owner and no one can talk

    Kateka wamano. Mosses wa nomba.

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  25. This shall not be ONE PERSON’s ruling but a democratic one by the bench. As usual there shall be cries from here or there but the whistle is the signal to the end of the game and in this case the bench shall blow the whistle. Personally, I am not worried over whatever result may come out of this case. What I know is that you cant go back and change the past but you can start where you are and modify the ending.So far so good for Mr. Lungu who in my opinion the world knows how hardworking this man has been in his term. God bless this man and the country he is superintending upon.

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  26. HH is a dimwit. scared of Lungu and now using Chipimo, Hansungule and Sishuwa to try and discredit judges. it won’t work guys. u meeting Lungu in 2021 and we voting for him over and over, sending UPND into retirement of they wait to celebrate 40 years in opposition.

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  27. Kaleza this guy is intelligent. I like his objectivity in so many matters. But I think he must avoid defending ConCourt coz it has failed to defend itself from its accusers such as Hichilema and Company. People like Hansungule, Chipimo ought to be cited for contempt. what they give ain’t fair comments at all

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  28. The outcome is already known. This biased concourt can never rule against PF. Look at all past judgements since the concourt came into existence. This is a foregone conclusion.

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  29. Isaac puts across some important points worth of consideration under the current public debate; especially with regards to the extent of the application of the doctrine of judicial independence. However, he seems not to be fully aware of the contradictions he is also canvassing. He claims to be advancing a neutral position, however, by the mere fact that he is juxtaposing two alternative ideas, he is exposing his biases towards a dual approach to legal interpretation. Yet there are more than two approaches to legal interpretation. Perhaps the key question that Isaac should have posed is whether there is any precedent decision regarding such interpretation. What interpretation philosophy has been guiding our courts thus far; has there been any consistency to that regard; and does such…

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  30. I love the clarity in Isaac’s position because its clear the matter will be decided based on whether Article 106 should be considered in interpretation of the Constitution or it should only be one part that must be considered. Based on what the Court has previously stated, the Constitution must be read as a whole. On that basis, Edgar Lungu qualifies to stand. Problem in Zambia is we always want interpretation that suits us and not the general spirit of the law. People should prepare for tough challenges and convince us why we must not vote for Lungu. Otherwise I feel Hansungule and the rest are mere noise makers.

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