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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Constitutional Court to deliver verdict this Friday on Bill 10

Headlines Constitutional Court to deliver verdict this Friday on Bill 10

 

The Constitutional Court of Zambia is set to deliver the Judgment this Friday, 29th November, 2019 on whether the Constitution of Zambia Bill No. No 10 to amend the Constitution of Zambia was submitted to the National Assembly in violation of the Constitution.

When the matter came up on Monday, the Law Association of Zambia and Chapter One Foundation made closing oral submission in which they told the Court that the petition was not meant to dispute the powers of the National Assembly to amend any part of the Constitution.

Mr. Chimankata, a lawyer from Sangwa and Simeza said the Law Association of Zambia was only challenging the decision by the President to initiate the Bill based on powers conferred on him by virtue Article 92 of the Constitution and the Attorney General to have signed the Bill based on powers granted to him based on Article 175 of the Constitution.

The lawyers from Sangwa and Simeza stated that the President and Attorney General should not have signed the Bill which their witnesses had claimed was made by the National Dialogue Forum without paying attention to the national values contained in Article 8 and 9 of the Constitution.

However, Founder and lawyer for Chapter One Foundation Linda Kasonde differed with LAZ that their petition goes to the core of the substance contained in Bill 10. She submitted that the Constitution contains a basic structure which cannot be amended by Parliament without consulting the people.

In reply to the submissions, the Attorney General Likando Kalaluka, Solicitor General Abraham Mwansa and Public State Advocate Mr. Mujuda took turns to dissect the submissions by the petitioners by submitting that the National Dialogue Forum had no powers to enact any law and only Parliament has power to enact laws.

They trio submitted that the national values do not apply to processes by bodies like NDF in drafting the law but that they apply when Parliament is enacting the law, and referred the court to Articles 9, 62(3) and Article 79 of the Constitution.

The Attorney General also extensively quoted the recent judgment of the Court in Godfrey Miyanda versus the Attorney General in which the Court affirmed that the basic structure in the Zambian Constitution only exist in theory as Parliament has power to amend any part of the Constitution, provided the procedure in Article 79 has been adhered to.

The Solicitor General also stated that all the witnesses presented by the two petitioners confirmed that there has been need to amend the Constitution. It was thus his submission that the only body mandated to alter any part of the Constitution as suggested by those who made submissions before and during the NDF was Parliament.

Meanwhile the Constitutional Court by the majority decision of 6 to 1 threw out the application by Ms. Kasonde for a conservatory order as it was filed in defiance with the directions of the Court. The Court emphasised that procedures in any court are necessary in the dispensation of justice as affirmed by both the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court itself.

The session was attended by different civil society activists either support or oppose the Bill who were seen sharing notes. All activists were heard hailing the court for the efficient manner in which it has proceeded to hear the matter.

35 COMMENTS

  1. We know our Constitutional Court verdict already, the judges are biased and compromised. They will go with whatever favours Lungu.

    • I hope they can also deliver a verdict to outlaw UPND, an out of control terrorist H-organisation and tribo grouping masquerading as a political party.

    • PF will lose. The courts have turned around they are back on side of Zambians.
      Nakachinda just lost case, and soon will be arrested for stealing MMD vehicles and other properties.

    • LAZ and Linda were I’ll prepared for this case. Way they argued been too shallow and been denied tge benefit to have state witnesses due to hooliganism from UPND

    • These are the most useless arguments by LAZ and company. They looked so amateurish in presence of thr law. They shud not ve filed this if they weren’t ready.

    • Laz shud ve known they had no case from beginning. Why did they waste all our time. Only a judge from university can rule in favour.

    • Its known factor LAZ and Chapter 2 took up this case for political expedience and not as matter of law. They should ve read the Miyanda case and also sought better witnesses from inside NDF. They should ve collected documents and all but they didnt. Worse, they just didnt know what they been arguing. Most of their arguments are good for News Diggers Forums than in court. Zambia is never short of case laws for our lawyers to keep persuading court using foreign cases. Next time dont listen to Muna Ndulo. Listen to what judges themslves have said.

    • This case was already decided when the judiciary made submissions to Parliament a month or so ago. I doubt they will go against what they said then.

    • Any person with half a brain can see that bill 10 has only one purpose. To keep PF in power, no matter what the people want. That is why the only people who are busy supporting it are unprincipled, greedy, corrupt minds that benefit from PF corruption. When a person like Ntewewe supports it you know it is rotten. Bill 10 will be the end of democracy in Zambia. The aftermath will be a dictatorship or civil unrest. That is how high the stakes are. It is crucial to stop it from going through.

    • The Verdict is predictable. Concourt is State Captured so the judges will comply with ECL’s wishes. We will surprised if anything good can come out of Concourt.

    • Zambia Concourt is Notorious for making Judgments that are in favour of the State. It will not surprise any one if a Biased Concourt dismisses the LAZ and Chapter One Petitions and orders Parliament to process the Bill even if it is illegal and unconstitutional vis avis the Current Zambia Constitution.The writing is on the Wall.

  2. We don’t expect much from a Court that gifted Lungu a 3rd term. We’ll pass our own verdict in 2021 through the ballot

    • Group 4s INCOMPOS can’t H-understand why the President could stand for election in 2021. Do you think their leader is called UNDER FIVE for nothing?

    • This was money making petition for LAZ, Sangwa and NGOs. Am disappointed with your below par arguments. Never excite us next time

  3. AG put up a legal battle while LAZ and the UPND cadre in that former lawyer been appealing to morality instead of the law.

  4. LAZ should disband, its stopped making sense now. Why didnt u tell us Parliament can amend any part of constitution from beginning and u say it now. Worse u put up those arguments like u just graduated from Ziale. Sangwa is disappointment. No wonder he made us lose presidential petition

    • You want the Minister to come to you bedroom and pull u from the bed so that you could make your views heard? How many times did he call for the public to submit? You guys are just too lazy and cry babies. You wait until the last minute then u begin crying. Tell me how many people submitted to any Constitution review commission that went round the country. The numbers is always less than 1500. So stop this nonsense of saying they should have gone round to waste our money when we dont reach even 1 million of submissions.

  5. From beginning, LAZ looked unprepared for this case. Me think it shouldn’t ve been commenced, they want to win case based on judges sympathies instead of law.

  6. LusakaTimes thanks for on spot timely update. Pleas give us entire judgment here. My 1 cent is Linda Kasonde has misled her successor to go this route. Now entire body of lawyers in disrepute. Open up laz for lawyers to form new associations so they shud be choice of either belonging to laz or another body which isn’t political

  7. It all started in Siavonga among SGs of main political parties to iron out what they termed contentious clauses like the Public order Act. in our constitution following the 2016 elections.
    Then came the National Dialogue Forum which turned out to be a monologue that was biased against submissions from some participants. NDF gave birth to Bill 10 whose contents have veered off the original intent and terms of reference! The POA has not been addressed! Many so called contentious clauses remain contentious! Some have colorfully sneeked into the Bill eg Deputy Ministers, Removal of BOZ oversight of monetary policy, Removal of parliamentary approval for loan contraction, more power to the Executive arm of the law. All these are not political contentious issues NDF was about. Anyway, go ahead…

  8. LAZ has lost ground coz it sees matters thru the lens of politics. UPND and LAZ ve gone to bed coz Hichilima is desperately promising jobs to these guys. Now look at end results. You a law body but can’t even understand laws.

  9. I think we must just sit down, agree on clauses to remove and pass Bill. This is what they do in advanced democracies. UPND rigid position will cost them 2021

  10. These courts need to be careful as they are the ones that speed up a government change. The courts are the only thing people have and if they’re compromised people then know better to change government to avoid losing their sovereign rights, look at Kaizer no ones wants to sue or prosecute him because they know our courts are useless and they will side with him in his criminal barbaric activities

  11. if bill 10 will go thru that will be end of fp. come 2120. all the retirees have ……not to …. for f.. with the behaviours of kaiza zulu, dora, mwanakatwe the bar lady, lusambo, etc cant win. ok pay retirees kapena ka vote kangaoneke but kaya. Mulungu mwine aziba.

  12. PF should be very careful with whatever they do to the Constitution because it has potential to backfire on them and the rest of the citizens! The Law is a double edged Sword! Don’t make laws to target individuals or to suit yourselves because you are in power. What happens when you find yourselves on the other side of power and you get a vengeful person using your own law to fix you?
    We have participated in past Constitution Review Commissions and when we compare the processes then to Bill 10, we find that Bill 10 has lamentably failed to build consensus around what they want to achieve. The ruling party through the Justice Minister has reduced this affair to partisan lines as opposed to having the citizens have an upper hand. How can we claim that this was representative of the views…

  13. How can we claim that this was representative of the views of citizens when you did not go round the country to seek submissions? Citizens who can’t speak English have been left out as if Speaking English is a sign of intelligence and wisdom? What happens to the Commission of Inquiry recommendations which have been left out?

    • Just tell us whether any Constitution review reached 1500 people submitting? Dont hide in the few that always make submissions. Lazy you!

    • Well narated mwine mushi they are decampaining themselves. more over there are serious issues the country is going thru than concentrate on bill 10 which we will surely backfire and see who will cry loudest.

  14. Parliament has the power to enact laws of the land. So you can not shoot Bill 10 going that route. The 1st issue starts with NDF. Was it supported by law to convene? If the answer is NO, then it makes all the recommendations non and void. If the answer is YES, then you look at individual recommendations and start shooting one by one giving reason why certain clauses should not be part of bill 10. You can not win by shooting the whole Bill 10. The easiest way to win a case in court is to give and take. As things stand, dont even accuse the Judges of being biased. LAZ and Chapter One have bungled the case.

  15. This is worst LAZ team in the history of this association. You acted like fools in court. That ka Linda also just speaks good English but zero points. Dont bring judges in political battles. U could have done better than u did. Kalaluka and his team outdid the entire association of lawyers.

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