The Constitution Court of Zambia is set to hear and determine whether article 157(2)(b) of the Constitution of Zambia provides for retraction of a notice of resignation by a councillor before the lapse of 30 days.
In originating summons filed on Wednesday by a governance activist, Isaac Mwanza, the Court has further been asked to determine whether a unilateral retraction of a valid notice of resignation by a councillor would necessitate or prevent the holding of a by-election.
In 2018, a councillor from the United Party for National Development (UPND) from Sinda was refused to retract his notice of resignation on grounds that the Constitution does not provide for withdrawal of resignation letters while in Mafumbwe and Monze, UPND councillors were allowed to withdraw their notices of resignation.
Recently, ECZ gave an opinion that the Constitution provides for withdraw of notice of resignation, sentiments which have now been challenged before the Court.
Mr. Mwanza has also called on the Court to determine whether a by-election held after a councillor unilaterally rescinds his or her resignation without the consent of the other party (either Mayor or Council Chairperson) within 30 days, would be valid.
Mr Mwanza said the Country is witnessing a new wave in which the Commission is accepting retraction of letters of resignation for the same reasons they rejected in Chilongozi Ward of Sinda District.
“The question is, how will the Commission justify the holding of a by-election in Sinda when their man said the Constitution does not provide for withdrawal of a resignation?” he asked.
Mr. Mwanza said the interpretation of constitutional provisions related to resignation of councillors will help straighten out the correct position of the law as regards the unilateral withdraw of notices of resignation by councillors who resign.