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Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Constitution Court Asked To Determine Whether A Councillor Can Retract A Resignation

Feature Politics The Constitution Court Asked To Determine Whether A Councillor Can Retract A...

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.

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  1. This will be interesting case. UPND must apply to join it so court should know what’s been up with these resignations

  2. One way to avoid costly by elections is for councillors to resign party membership but retain seat in council. Pls ask ConCourt on this

  3. And the reasons given for withdrawing resignations don’t make too much sense. Let court guide on those reasons. Every time, it’s President accused for personal decision

  4. @The Advocate, that angle is worth exploring. These by elections are expensive but the Constitution has no provision for retracting resignation. Read something from Chipenzi

  5. Petition to watch! Was Sinda by election illegal or the Mufumbwe by election must be conducted? Can’t wait to see outcome. UPND must jump on wagon

  6. No the solution should be if councilor resigns, party should second another one to finish off the term

  7. Most reasonable solution being suggested here as I presume the resignations are individual decisions. However the known but not talked about fact is underhand activities at play that almost always these resignations are sponsored by a competing party looking to increase tally in governance structures. Since these candidates are only fronting the sponsoring party’s ticket its logical that the party appoints a replacement. We would also start experiencing the demise of people jumping from one party to another such that once elected the prospect of resigning would be in check as knowing that chances of a bye election wont be existent but only a wait for the general election. Elected representatives would at least serve a complete term for the sponsoring party before switching allegiance!

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