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Friday, April 23, 2021

Sangwa to challenge President Lungu’s eligibility next month

Headlines Sangwa to challenge President Lungu’s eligibility next month

Constitutional Lawyer John Sangwa stresses a point at a recent public discussion on the Constitutional Amendment Bill
Constitutional Lawyer John Sangwa stresses a point at a recent public discussion on the Constitutional Amendment Bill

Lusaka Lawyer John Sangwa has confirmed that he will go ahead and petition President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility to contest the August 2021 general elections.

Mr. Sangwa said now that it is abundantly clear President Lungu wants to stand as President in the August polls, he will go ahead and challenge his eligibility in the Constitutional Court.

Speaking on Phoenix FM’s Let the People Talk radio programme on Tuesday, Mr Sangwa said it is now up to the Court to determine whether President Lungu qualifies to stand or not.

“I have deliberately avoided the eligibility matter on this programme because I know that this is a matter that will be resolved by the Courts and I think we would have all the indications on the ground that the matter would have to be resolved by Court soon,” Mr Sangwa said.

“I think we have debated enough, I think people have given their positions, I think the one camp is saying this issue is already resolved by the Court and I am saying that no it has not been resolved by the Courts but you know you can have a debate up to a certain point and when you are stuck in your respective positions, the only civil thing to do is to allow the matter to be decided in court.”

“And its not far, it’s only next month and of God willing, we will still be standing then we will see how the matter will be settled,” Mr Sangwa said.

“You see, we need to have faith in ten institutions that we have, we have our judicial system, although they are lowly paid but the truth is that these are the only institutions we have and when there is a dispute and we are falling to agree on, we take the matter to court for interpretation.”

He said,”There has been a lot of time expended on the issue of eligibility and we can’t seem to agree abd the next thing we have to do is leave it for the Court to decide.”

On calls by some PF offocials that Mr Sangwa be arrested for treason for questioning President Lungu’s eligibility, Mr Sangwa said he has not done anything illegal.

“I have argued that in my opinion, the only person who should be arrested is the one whom I believe is not edible to hold office. I am simply standing in defence of the constitution which is an obligation for me as a Lawyer and I have taken oath to protect the constitution and I don’t know how that can translate into treason?

60 COMMENTS

  1. It’s about time; popcorns please!

    I just fear that the Con-Court may use a technicality that it’s premature as prezdo has not yet filed in his nomination for Republican prezdo and dismiss the application for want of merit.

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  2. Lawyer Sangwa is a smart man ,thank God. Zambian constitution doesn’t address terms it says “if he/she has served twice they’re not eligible”

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  3. Seriously next month? Stock up on popcorn for Zambia lacks some excitement! The arguments in the courts will give the citizenry some important issue worthy devoting time as it will turn out to be educative as it progresses.

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  4. Lungu has concourt in his pocket…this will be slam dunk for Lungu ….John Sangwa must be a very dull laywer…the Concourt Judgement will give Lungu extra wings and also get him more votes…wake up Mr half baked Lawyer Sangwa…no wonder you couldn’t keep your marriage

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  5. Technical or no technical , let him stand and people decide. It is more humiliating to lose, being rejected by pipos than barred by courts. Let Mr. Sangwa try and it is better to exercise one’s right to go to court to seek clarification and legal interpretation. It is better that courts rule, not hiding behind technicality but legal position whether President is eligible or not, clear, logical judgment. Bot playing with unconvincing technicalities or jargons

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  6. John Sangwa is a Lawyer who lucks common sense….who controls concourt…you don’t need a rocket scientist to know the outcome……And John Sangwa will just campaign for Lungu…thats the problem with these politically inclined lawyers…he is just thinking about the position HH promised him……this will be like scoring own goal with less than a second left to play and already being a goal down……own goal will make it 2-0…….Edgar 2. UPND 0…..Zambian so called Lawyers

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  7. One thing I find strange is why someone who speaks English and knows simple arithmetic has decided to ignore the clause in the current constitution which says any period less than 3 years does not constitute a term of office. Also any lawyer knows that law is applied prospectively and not retrospectively hence you can’t quote the old constitution because no country on earth uses two constitutions. Under the old constitution Mr Sangwa is 100% right but under the current constitution someone needs to wake him up from his sleep and advise him that we are in 2021 and that the 1996 constitution was repealed before the 2016 general elections. The best way to remove PF from power is to convince the electorate that he is not a good choice for them. Laws must be obeyed even if you do not like…

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  8. Let Concourt give a licence to ECL to stand in 2021 if this is legal and Constitutional. The question still remains: was ECL elected in 2015 for a 5 Year Term or 18 months Term? If 5years why didn’t he continue to serve as President up to 2020? If ECL wanted to serve a Complete 5 Year Term for his first Term he should have waited for 2016 and allowed somebody else to serve for the 18 months Term . As it is ECL by August 2021 will have served for 61/2 years. If Concourt allows ECL to serve for another 5 years by 2026 he will have served 111/2 years. So Concourt and ECL will breach the 10 years maximum Rule. Concourt should interpret,obey, defend,protect and enforce the Republican Constitution otherwise there will be Turmoil in Zambia.

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  9. John Sangwa is a brave man and deserves a statue. I’m afraid though that Lungu will easily win in court, as the entire judiciary is in the pocket of this corrupt PF government.

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  10. Sangwa ignored the importance of 14 days in 2016 and led Under 5 and his surrogates into a ditch. It implies he is also an Under 5 of a lawyer.

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  11. If after Concourt has endorsed ECL and some how on August 12 the People overwhelmingly vote for HH what will happen to these Concourt Judges? Rigging Elections doesn’t always work. Concourt Judges are better of interpreting, defending and enforcing the Republican Constitution. If Concourt breach the Constitution and there is Chaos in the Country then Concourt Judges must bear the Responsibility. That is why Concourt Judges should take their work seriously and discharge their duties in an Objective and Professional manner. The writing is on the wall.

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  12. There’s a similar case in the ConCourt by that guy from Katuba, so why don’t you apply for a joinder instead of a multiplicity of actions? And why next month? Are you looking for sponsors? Just join the Katuba guy

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  13. These f00ls never learn. Their friend KBF has just withdrawn his little penls because he knows he cannot manage eagle 1. Here we have another rare breed of a bab00n called sangwa who is busy talking shlt from his backside.

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    • KZ, KBF has either been silenced or has something up his sleeve. ECL was just elected or went unopposed as a PF president , he will still continue as PF president in opposition, there is no term limit in the PF constitution. I believe that’s why KBF is quiet for now. As soon as HE ECL files his presidential election papers that’s when we see things get in motion, courts will be hyper-active.

  14. Ayatollah, I don’t know why u don’t see the reason for waiting for nxt month. Edgar Lungu has not yet filed nomination papers to stand in the August presidential election. As long as he has not filed such papers, every good lawyer knows that there’s nothing to seek judicial interpretation on. It’s that simple.

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  15. Zambia Concourt’s image and reputation is very bad. Zambians have very low confidence in Concourt Judges. This Petition on Lungu’s Eligibility provides Concourt with an opportunity to redeem itself. Concourt made a mess of the 2016 Presidential Petition. The manner in which Concourt handles this Eligibility Petition will determine the future of Zambia’s Constitutional Democracy and the existence of Concourt itself. Its imperative that Concourt hears and determine all ECL Eligibility Petitions this Election Season. This time around Concourt should interpret, obey,defend, protect and enforce the Republican Constitution in an Objective and Professionally manner. The manner in which Concourt handles this matter could ignite Civil unrest in Zambia. The writing is on the wall.

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  16. In short people above are saying Sangwa is dull because he does not know that the Zambian justice does not work. and its just a show.

  17. This is what social media has done to professionals reducing them to such lengths debating issues on media platforms than actually simply taking matters to court .what is the point of seeking attention like you are a politician.What happens to John Sangwa reputation as a Lawyer if the Concourt rules that President Lungu is eligible to stand in 2021 ?

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  18. Cry Zambia. Just imagine if we had this type of politician we have now.. FTJ Chiluba would have ruled for fourth term. Politician like Lusambo, Kaizer, Kambwili, GBM, Davies etc can even support what they know deep down their heart that its wrong as long as they have a stake. All pf members knows that the man is not eligible to stand a president again, but they cant say otherwise just because of their potbelly. Why cant these people emulate people like Christian Tembo and others who refused to be part of the illegality to support Chiluba to stand for third term. Our Hope is in Sangwa, KBF and few remaining sensible zambian.

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  19. What is the LITERACY LEVEL of this chap who on a daily basis writes as Kaizar Zulu? And why does Lusaka Times allow his writings that are always full of insults? Is he a Zambian?

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  20. Yaba, oh yaba!! John Solyeubwali why not now??? Your dingbat friend KBF even threatened to stop the PF Convention, where is he today??? You do these things to excite your donkey supporters as you lie to them, and you’ve wasted 5 years doing this. You should have been advising hh to mobilise and sell alternative policies to Zambians not lies, hate and these fantasies you create. From the petition you failed to handle, to dictatorship, ICC, corruption etc nothing has worked. Now top party members are abandoning you and hh because they have lost confidence in your approach. Anyway, good luck. Waiting for the new PF theme, from Donchi Kubeba, Dununa Reverse to …..

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  21. I have my doubts on this Kaizar Zulu account as he is operating on a UK IP address. And the photo is everywhere on the internet. Lusaka Times should check this out

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  22. But it doesn’t really matter as the real KZ is also a despicable corrupt thieving PF cadre and will certainly end up in prison come August 13.

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  23. The right to be heard before a court of competent jurisdiction is guaranteed under the constitution. Why establish courts of law if courts cannot hear complaints from complainants? Consequently, any party concerned remains free to air concerns in court. Concerns could be academic political or self gratification. It does not mater. Or does it?

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  24. @Nemwine, if Bampi Kapalasa gets his judgement before the filing of nominations begin, then what will Sangwa take to Court? Bampi wants the case heard and determined expeditiously. Interpretation of the Law can be sort at anytime, so Sangwa might end up with words in his mouth

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  25. Let’s have this Constitution translated in all local languages, that way it will make sense even to Sangwa himself. I don’t know what tribe he is.

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  26. Faced with similar Constitutional Petitions, the Malawi and Kenyan Apex Courts were Objective and Professional. The Challenge is now with Zambia Concourt. In 2016 Zambia Concourt mishandled the Presidential Petition. Can Zambia Concourt redeem itself this time around? Zambia Concourt risks starting a Civil War in Zambia If it doesn’t interpret, defend and enforce the Constitution. On August 12 Zambians will have a final say on the issue thru the Ballot Box. The whole World is watching what Zambia Concourt will do given the President’s promise to all Election Observers that the 2021 Elections will conducted in a free and fair way and in terms of the Republican Constitution. We shall see!

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  27. In Tanzania they had a smooth and peaceful transfer of Power after Magufuli the former President died and Samia Siluhu Hassan became the President. The transfer of Power was done in terms of the Tanzanian Constitution. Samia Siluhu Hassan who was VP and Running Mate is now serving her first term of Office since 4 years remained b4 Magufuli’s 5 year Term expires in 2025. In Zambia, Concourt should resolve the ECL Eligibility issue Objectively and Professionally by correctly interpreting, defending and enforcing our Constitution. In August 2021 we want a smooth and peaceful transfer of Power from the current President to the New President in Zambia.

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  28. Klein Klein – Your analogy to the Chiluba situation is flawed: Chiluba wanted to change the Constitution to allow him to stand a third time. Here we are debating whether ECL is eligible to stand in the next elections under the Current Constitution.
    Mutale: The Constitution defines a full term as 3 to 5 years. So, below 3 years is not a term. Therefore, if the being “sworn twice” Clause is superseded by the “Full Term” Clause, then the maximum number of years a Zambian President can serve is 13. This will be very clear if ECL successfully files his nomination papers in this election.

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  29. This Lungu Eligibility issue has put Concourt between a hard Rock and the Deep Blue see. If Concourt Rules for the Petitioners PF will destroy it and if Concourt endorses his Third Term Bid the Court will be accused of bias and being State Captured. The best way for Concourt is to Objectively and Professionally interpret, defend and enforce the Republican Constitution. People’s Confidence in Concourt is very low and it’s high time to redeem themselves. In the end this Eligibility issue will be decided thru the Ballot Box. In the meantime Concourt shouldn’t inflame the mood of the Nation. It’s dangerous to the Country and to Concourt itself. The writing is on the wall.

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  30. We do not need the courts to reject him, we will resoundingly reject him ourselves (as a people suffering) via the ballot! 12 August 2021 #ChangeYaZoona #DununaReverseNEVER #DununaForwardYES !!!

  31. All these lacunas have been caused by our lawyers. You mean those who were drafting the amended clauses in our costitution never read through the lines enough to rectify the situation before the President asserted his signature? Its clear we don’t learn from our past mistakes. Ok suppose the ConCourt rules in favour of ECL then what will happen or if the ruling will be against ECL what will the PF do as the period for a Presidential candidate would have lodged his application in the required time? Will there be an amendment to the rules to allow PF for another candidate to submit an application on its ticket. Politicians do all sorts of things to suit their situations buts its up to other branches of state to come and put order in place. What is the role of technocrates who are highly…

  32. Like what Klein Klein @21 has said, PF has intelligent lawyers who are fully aware that what they are supporting is wrong(third term). Everybody supporting this third term are doing it for themselves. Edgar Lungu’s grip on power is their only means of survival. The big question is are the concourt lawyers/judges brave enough to deliver the right judgement?

  33. Concourt shouldn’t have entertained the Dan Pule 5 year Term Limit Case. Now Concourt has to deal with ECL’s Eligibility Petitions. Tempers are very high in this Country so Concourt shouldn’t manipulate these Eligibility Petitions in the same way it illegally and unconstitutionally “dismissed ” the 2016 Presidential Petition. Concourt should be seen to be impartial in dealing with the Eligibility Petitions to be filed soon after Nominations are closed in May 2020. The decision by Concourt over this Case will determine the future of Constitutional Democracy in Zambia and the very existence of Concourt itself. Concourt shouldn’t be seen to be Partial and State Captured. The risk of Concourt igniting Civil unrest in Zambia is very high. The whole World is watching to see what…

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  34. In very rare cases like in Malawi where court
    Ruled infavour of opposition. Why is kambwili
    Saying sorry as he knows what will happen
    In courts.I don’t think Zambian system is that
    Bold to take that step.

  35. It is true John Sanga is a constitutional lawyer. A great feat that is.
    But on this one he is losing it. We are tired of his threats. You know what, the State Counsel has taken it rather personal because he has fallen out of favour with president Edgar Lungu. The president is not stupid. He has a legal constitutional backing. The petition will be rebuffed with deserving contempt

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  36. There is no ambiguity in the laws of Zambia concerning this matter.
    1. If a serving president dies in office, the vice president takes over until elections are held within 90 days of that death. An election is held to pick the president to serve out the term the deceased was supposed to serve.
    2. If the deceased had served more than a year of his/ her term before their death , ( If the remaining term is less than 3 years),the elected president will not be considered to be serving a full term and are therefore eligible to serve another 2 terms ,after serving out the term of the deceased predecessor.
    3. If the remaining term is more 3 years, the elected president will be deemed to be serving a full term. In simple terms President Lungu, who took over after the late Micheal Sata had…

  37. @22 Angoni
    Very true social media has become a problem now…attention seeking fulu fulu….even Lawyers now want to seek attention on social media…debating issues that make no sense……just wasting tax payers money…every one knows Concourt will rule in favor of Bandit President Edgar Chagwa Lungu

  38. There is no need to waste your, sir!
    As the law stands, the late Mr Sata served more than 1 year before he died and Mr Lungu served less than 3 years of the remainder of Mr Sata’s term. Mr Lungu is not considered to have served a term of office when he served out Mr. Sata’s term.
    Whether you like Mr Lungu or not the law allows him to serve 2 full terms of presidential besides the less than 3 years of his predecessors term that he served.
    LETS HAVE HONESTY AND INTEGRITY IN OUR INTEPRATION OF LAW.
    THE NATION ID WATCHING YOU.

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  39. There is no need to waste your time and effort, sir!
    As the law stands, the late Mr Sata served more than 1 year before he died and Mr Lungu served less than 3 years of the remainder of Mr Sata’s term. Mr Lungu is not considered to have served a term of office when he served out Mr. Sata’s term.
    Whether you like Mr Lungu or not the law allows him to serve 2 full terms of presidential besides the less than 3 years of his predecessors term that he served.
    LETS HAVE HONESTY AND INTEGRITY IN OUR INTEPRATION OF LAW.
    THE NATION IS WATCHING YOU.

  40. @AK …ECL came into power under the Constitution before the 2016 amendment. The 2016 Constitution applies to finishing a term e.g by the Vice-President. ECL was not in that category. He was elected and held office in 2015 and again in 2016. It is absurd to claim he did not hold office in 2015.

    Looking at how weak our civil society is and the gullibility of certain segments of the population, Sangwa should be praised for taking this on. Whether a compromised or scared judiciary will consider political expediency over the law, or not, is another matter. We need brave souls in the face of so many breaches of the law and a wanton disregard for the rule of law in so many matters by this regime. We do react eventually in Zambia, but we wait too long – when a lot of damage has been done.

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  41. The problem is people interpret this eligibility in the eyes of disliking ECL. Those who say swearing in constitutes having served a full term, if you register at a university for a 4 year programme and you only attend 2 years, would the university give you a degree because they registered you( sweated you in)?

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  42. John Sangwa wants to interpret the Law as a UPND cadre…not as a constitutional Lawyer… he has now become a social media attention seeking Lawyer just like Makaka Elias Munshya….next John Sangwa will start his own YouTube channel

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  43. Donald Trump’s Lawyer Rudy Giuliani earned lots of money by misleading a rich US President to the extent that the US Electoral System was corrupt and that the US Judiciary was inefficient. Zambia has its own crop of “GIULIANIs” who are also earning money by misleading rich opposition leaders. Zambia’s “Giulianis” have ganged up to discredit the integrity of Constitutional Court Judges with their prayer to prevent Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu from contesting the 2021 Presidential Elections. The onus is on Zambian Judges to protect their life-long professional integrity by emulating the US Judges’ respect of National Constitution –and restored sanity in the USA.

  44. LESSONS FROM USA
    Donald Trump’s Lawyer Rudy Giuliani earned lots of money by misleading a rich US President to the extent that the US Electoral System was corrupt and that the US Judiciary was inefficient. Zambia has its own crop of “GIULIANIs” who are also earning money by misleading rich opposition leaders. Zambia’s “Giulianis” have ganged up to discredit the integrity of Constitutional Court Judges with their prayer to prevent Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu from contesting the 2021 Presidential Elections. The onus is on Zambian Judges to protect their life-long professional integrity by emulating the US Judges’ respect of National Constitution –and restored sanity in the USA.

  45. SURE LEARN LESSONS FROM USA
    Donald Trump’s Lawyer Rudy Giuliani earned lots of money by misleading a rich US President to the extent that the US Electoral System was corrupt and that the US Judiciary was inefficient. Zambia has its own crop of “GIULIANIs” who are also earning money by misleading rich opposition leaders. Zambia’s “Giulianis” have ganged up to discredit the integrity of Constitutional Court Judges with their prayer to prevent Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu from contesting the 2021 Presidential Elections. The onus is on Zambian Judges to protect their life-long professional integrity by emulating the US Judges who respect their Constitution –and have restored sanity in the USA.

  46. The Judicially in Zambia today has been perceived to be inept, not by politicians in power or the general public but by “FEW” so called learned counsels who think they know it all and have rendered it to be so. My KUDOs to the men and women of the bench led by IRON LADY, Madam IREEN MAMBILIMA for working under very trying circumstances.
    Am appalled by the “Few” practicing Lawyers who are part of the bench and are supposed to protect it but behaving like they are the JURY and JUDGE or indeed in lay mans perception like a patient going to see a doctor with his/her own prescription of ANTIBIOTICS instead of PARACETAMOL when his/her ailment is mere HEADACHE.

  47. CONTINUED
    The Law Association of Zambia unfortunately has allowed a situation where some of its members have openly censured the bench with the hope of instigating the COURTS to pronounce verdicts in their favour thus creating falsehood and excitement in the in the minds of the general citizenly all in the name of rights and freedom of speech. PLEASE BA LAZ try and tone down your members for us to have faith if any in LAZ.
    The Kenya and Malawi court verdicts by the BENCH was because they were able to establish beyond all reasonable doubt that there was SOME MALPRACTICE on how the election were conducted. In 2016 we had the opportunity but “fortunately” we wasted time on preliminary after preliminary issues, is it Speaker Matibini or Justice Mambilima to rule e.t.c ama “ILELE” instead…

  48. CONTINUED
    instead of the main complaint because we had no PROOF unlike in Kenya and Malawi.
    ILLEGIBITY case is totally different from above. SWEARING AND ELECTING someone whether once or twice goes with a period or term one has to complete and is enshrined in the CONSTITUTION. PERIOD.
    “Those who think they know it all, they upset those of us who do.”

  49. There is a general perception that Concourt Judges are not Professionally qualified. Here is an opportunity for Concourt Judges to prove that they are not only qualified to be Judges of the Apex Concourt and can objectively and Professionally determine ECL’s Eligibility without fear or favour. If Concourt comes up with a Politically motivated Ruling then they will be in the firing line should the political contestation descend into a Civil War. If that happens then fire will burn Concourt. Time will tell

  50. Should the ConCourt rule against Sangwa, it will be interesting their liability should the incumbent lose the election. This will have severe ramifications. The person that must be magnanimous and not take the law to the brink of translation is the president – he must not even allow the country to await the outcome of such a decision but graciously walk away with some dignity.

  51. Lawyers are good at arguments in courts that’s what Sangwa is yearning for, but they can’t rush the courts to deliver judgements, what will happen to Sangwa’s case if the ruling comes after 12 August?

  52. Anyway zambia has Men and Women in the judiciary system. Let them sit on the round table and tell the general public what they should understand about the eligibility of a person vying for presidency and let the court directs us on which law are we going to follow after August 12, 2021 general elections about the eligibility of a person who wants to stand as president in Zambia in future to come? Because there is a certain saying which says” what happens today affects the future”. Because there are two things here (1) sworn in twice and (2) finishing the remaining term. Now which one between the two is found in our constitution book which stops one from contesting as president in our soil zambia? And which one between the two makes someone not eligible or eligible.

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