Zambia’s highest Constitutional Court has misjoined the Republican President and the National Assembly from the petition in which LAZ is challenging the enactment of the Bill to amend the Constitution of Zambia.
Delivering a ruling this morning, Judge E. Mulembe on behalf of the Constitutional Court stated that the application by the Attorney General and submissions by LAZ were anchored on the definition of civil proceedings which is not defined in Article 266 of the Constitution.
The Court observed that Section 19 of the State Proceedings Act, Chapter 71 of the Laws of Zambia defines what civil proceedings are.
The Court thus held that Section 19 of CAP 71 should be read together with section 12 of same Act and Article 177 (5) (c) of the Constitution
“We disagree with the submissions by State Counsel Sangwa that the National Assembly and the president do not constitute the government,” stated part of the ruling.
In addressing itself to the question on whether Constitutional matters can be deemed to be civil proceedings, the Court stated that “We do not think that the framers of the constitution wanted to exclude constitutional matters from being civil matters.”
The Attorney General had argued that the rightful party to all civil proceedings against Government is the Attorney General in line with Article 177 (5) (c) of the Constitution. In his submissions, he made submissions that both the President and the National Assembly have no capacity to be sued or to sue in their own capacities.
The Court has accordingly misjoined the President and National Assembly as first and third Respondents from the proceedings and stated that the proper party to the proceedings should be the AG.