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Sunday, June 6, 2021

Constitutional Court dismisses Petition against President Lungu’s Eligibility

Headlines Constitutional Court dismisses Petition against President Lungu’s Eligibility

The Constitutional Court of Zamhia has this afternoon dismissed the petition by UPND Katuba Member of Parliament Bampi Kapalasa and UPND Member Joseph Busenga on the grounds that the matter was already decided in the Dan Pule case earlier decided in 2018.

In a unanimous ruling delivered by Constitutional Court Judge Mungeni Mulenga on behalf of the full bench of seven (7) Constitutional Court Judges, the Court agreed with the Attorney General that issues regarding interpreting the term of office held by President Lungu from 2015 to 2016 were conclusively decided by the Court and that it no longer has jurisdiction to re-examine the same issues.

The Court further said the question on defining what it means to hold office as stated in Article 106(3) was part of the decision in Dan Pule case which cannot be reopened and rexamined by the Court.

The Attorney General had argued that the matter should be brought to a conclusive end as it is meant to prejudice President Lungu in filing nominations this month. A team of 7 lawyers from the Attorney General Chambers led by Likando Kalaluka argued before the full bench that matters being pursued on Article 106 were res judicata and the Constitutional Court has become functus officio.

The Court has set Friday, 7th May, 2021 to deliver a full written judgment.

Earlier, the Court dismissed a counter motion by Katuba MP to dismiss the motion as is was found to be improperly before the Court. The Court found that Mr Kapalasa had waived his right to raise a motion against another motion when he had already made submissions against the preliminary issue raised by the Attorney General.

Also in attendance during the hearing included Lusaka lawyers John Sangwa, Makebi Zulu and President Edgar Lungu’s Legal Advisor Sukwana Lukangaba. Others in attendance were Governance Activist Isaac Mwanza, NCP President Peter Chanda, student leaders, among others.

72 COMMENTS

  1. Shame. So what is UPND going to do about it? Business as usual. And Dr. John Sangwa, is he pursuing the petition?

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  2. Judgement will be scrutinised for legal clarity and soundness by scholars and the extent to which it answers the questions and doubts of lawyers who presented arguments before the court.

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  3. We have heard the following expressions from the front runners in the race for the coveted Zambian prize (State House) :
    ” utupuba tuletalikana” and “Uwafikansa akaimwena” . You can choose between the two in the light of this developing story.

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  4. According to the Corncort, President Edgar Lungu has only held office of the president (sworn in from 2016 to 2921) once. All other years don’t count as he was only a care taker. Thanks for clarifying once more. Let’s stop the eligibility mischief so we focus on more important issues of the ballot.

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  5. What is the motive behind all these petitions? Are these guys afraid of Edgar? If Edgar is not a threat, why can’t they wait for August 12 elections and beat him thru the ballot.

    Zambians are tired and sick of reading same things please. Mr. CHAGWA SIR, UPND is shaking after seeing adoption confirmation.

    Ba upnd, please beat Edgar through the ballot if you are confident of winning August election.

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  6. According to the Corncort, President Edgar Lungu has only held office of the president (sworn in from 2016 to *2021*) once. All other years don’t count as he was only a care taker. Thanks for clarifying once more. Let’s stop the eligibility mischief so we focus on more important issues of the ballot.

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  7. I AM NOT A LAWYER HOWEVER I UNDERSTOOD HOW JUDGES REACHED AND CONCLUDED THEIR JUDGEMENT,”the Dan Pule case earlier decided in 2018.” IN REGARD TO THE CONSTITUTION OF ZAMBIA. IF YOU ARE A LAWYER AND YOU CAN’T UNDERSTAND SUCH SIMPLE MATTER- YOU ARE NOT WORTH YOUR SALT. CASE CLOSED.

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  8. The problem was that Dr John Sangwa started fighting the case on social media instead of developing a strong constitutional case. In spite of acting in the main interest of his professional career, he chose to act for UPND and reduced himself to a common cadre. I remember Martha Mushipe behaving similarly in 2011 and 2016 when she got overtaken by emotions.

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  9. THIS PRESIDENT AND PF IS GOING TO REAP WHAT THEY HAVE SOWN IT IS WRITTEN SO IN THE GOOD BOOK
    BRING AUGUST ON LETS SEE THESE F00lS IN PF CRY
    ANYWAY THIS IS ROUND ONE
    ROUND 2 ON THE WAY

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  10. Henry – Its difficult for you to understand the motive if all you see is Edgar Lungu and Hakienda …Zambian constitution is bigger than these two chaps!!

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  11. You should try your best not to take anything trolls say seriously. No matter how poorly they behave, remember these people spend countless unproductive hours trying to make people mad. They’re not worth your time of the day.

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  12. This nonsense was once funny but it has now become an intellectual debacle among people
    you thought should know better. If the debate of the issue of President Lungu’s eligibility, after the Dan Pule judgment of 2018 by the ConCourt, was going on among bums on the streets or drunks in bars of Chibolya one would understand. But NOT among people we hoped are learned and able to understand these matters. People such as State Councel Sangwa. So forgive people if they start questioning the motivations behind all these bankrupt petitions being thrown around like cheap Kapenta. Let us learn to RESPECT court decisions, whether we like them or not, because that is the foundation of a civilized society and a working Democracy.

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  13. Concourt ducks this again even though the Dan Pule judgement was incomplete…why call it Constitutional Court if they can not table such issues. I wonder why these premature opposition MPs even petitioned instead of waiting for Lazy Lungu to file his papers and Sangwa doing his thing.

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  14. Continue crying Haha and wasting your time. Before you know it, it will be August and you will realise that you have wasted all your time on irrelevant issues instead of selling your tribal manifesto to your fellow tribal supporters. Grow some balls and face ECL like men. Cowards

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  15. Our Court has made a decision.
    Time to move the country forward. We should not hold back the work of government and governance.

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  16. Most of the bloggers here never leaved through a one party state with a wamuyaya president. This ruling effectively will turn the incumbent life president and you will find it hard to remove him when things get worse years from now… Tiyeni nazo

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  17. UPND wala! Wasted energies pursuing ECL instead of campaiginng. Sangwa is making money out of u. My party is lost and only wins on sympathy

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  18. UPND wala! Wasted energies pursuing ECL instead of campaiginng. Sangwa is making money out of u. My party is lost and only wins on sympathy.

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  19. That is fine , so if the CC and lungu are confident he only served one term , let that clause be included in the ECZ form…….

    Let lungu swear on oath and sign that he only served one term…..

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  20. I said it before….what do you expect….”A good Lawyer knows the Judge not the Law “…remember when I said this….John Sangwa wants to eat HH’s money…thats what Lawyers…even if he knows that Lungu controls the Concourt…Judge Mungeni Mulenga is Lungu’s close friend….case closed….

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  21. Some Lawyers…its true education cannot make you smart….John Sangwa is a half baked Lawyer..They will just chew HH’s money….flimsy Lawyer

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  22. I attribute this to the nature of Zambians…..Kuzionesa too much !
    The 2 i.dio.tic MPs wanted to show off, without thinking through, we knew this was going to happen! And we knew this was going to disqualify Sangwa`s petition. The fact that this came from UPND MPs, makes it wilder, how and why? Is it PF money working from behind?
    Sangwa can forget it now.

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  23. Kalata yaku Lilongwe – You reminded me of the time old man Sata suspended three Judges back in 2012 and appointed that Malawian Judge Justice Lovemore Chipoka to head tribunal into judges conduct…really laughable …the man spent his time reading newspapers in a 5 star hotel lounge.

  24. Lungu is a thief and convicted felon. The imbecile retard stole money from his client that too a widow.

    This fool better not step in EU. people should know how this drunkard thief became a president.

    Only if Africa thieves become president and they are good at stealing

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  25. A lot of you here don’t actually read, let alone analyse. If the gist of the law is beyond you, don’t just say ‘yah, yah, yah’ based on your existing biased inclinations. Those who are objective know that the Concourt has not reached a decision based on a sound legal premise but one of only political expediency – meant to appease the appointing authority and preserve the individual judges enjoyment of their trappings and silver pieces. The Concourt judges are a disgrace and most did not even meet the criteria for their appointments. They are an indication of the general underpinnings of what has gone wrong with systems, processes and institutions in Zambia since the rogue party (PF) came into power.

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  26. Why would you condemn the lawyers and also base your biased comments only from the premise that UPND members were involved in bringing up the matter? They are actually more brave and principled than the whole lot of you ostriches put together. Abuses of systems and where it appears govt. is riding roughshod over the Constitution need challenging. Lazy Zambians (who refuse to read objectively or are incapable) and those benefiting from the appropriated resources, are a disgrace and only help to prop such regimes as we have in Zambia. Many a nation in history has failed or faced strife because of such unbridled thirst for self-preservation and sharing of the resources by a few, at the expense of the trampled. The biggest tragedy, as I always say, is having such a cohort of ignorant…

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  27. Am sure if John Muwelewele tells the Under 5 supporters that he will appeal to the International Criminal Court, they will Cheer him on! Nsoni na chifundo ine!

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  28. I was expecting this judgement. But to say that HH has sponsored this is to stretch the truth. John Sangwa moved the court of his own free will, as has Sakwiba Sikota’s application to join the matter. Legal scholars are of course hard at work analysing the judgement for laypeople.

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  29. This is not surprising at all. The State Captured Concourt has finally complied with ECL’s Directive to grant him his Third Term Wish. The next move is to rig the August 12 Election Results in favour of ECL and PF. With State Captured ECZ and Concourt victory is certain. Can the Opposition defend the Vote? So if 18 months is not a Full Term becoz its less than 3 years how is RB’s 34 months a Full Term when it’s also less than 3 years? So RB is not a Former President becoz he served for less than 3 years? U can see how contradictory,biased and unprofessional Concourt is. This Judgment marks the end of Constitutional Democracy in Zambia and the beginning of a One Man Party State Dictatorship. The writing is on the wall.

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  30. TARINO ORANGE, I am fully aware that zambian constitution is bigger ECL and HH but what doesn’t stop to amuse me is why are they still challenging Edgar if they can easily beat him.

    If he is not a threat, let them wait for August 12 elections and beat him through the ballot.

    The ballot will speak for opposition.

  31. #36  Henry May
    6, 2021 At 7:01 am

    “……..If he is not a threat, let them wait for August 12 elections and beat him through the ballot.

    The ballot will speak for oppositio..”

    We all know lungu can not win any free and fair election , he uses violence and intimidation with support from the police and the whole GRZ……..

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  32. The Application was for Constitutional interpretation so why is the Judgment dealing with Lungu’s Eligibility in name? ECL has not yet been nominated and his Eligibility has not yet been Petitioned in terms of Article 52 of the Republican Constitution at Concourt. ECL is not yet b4 Concourt. Is that meant to pre-emptive any Petitions that might be filed after Nominations are closed? Why didn’t the Judge President read the Judgment? More questions than answers.

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  33. The Applicants were seeking interpretation of Constitutional Clauses. No where in their Applications is ECL named. So how could Concourt conclude that ECL was legible when his name was not mentioned. Anyway this is to be expected from a State Captured Concourt. Since RB served for only 34 Months and not 3 years is he no longer a 4th Republican President and entitled to Pension Benefits?

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  34. The big deal has always been between being sworn in and a full term. I believe considering mathematical logic, Lungu’s tenure is an OR scenario, not an AND. If the term of office was reasonably placed near or above the half-mark of a full term it would have sufficed to challenge his eligibility. The option now is to beat him at the polls or use other “populist” moves (at the risk of being inciteful).

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  35. Con court is full of lungu’s buddies and this is no surprise. ECZ is trying to save lungu’s butt by eliminating the question from the affidavit. ECL is going to pay heavily for his selfish 3rd term. The next guy is not going to let lungu off easy abrogating our constitution like this apart from destroying a once thriving economy.these cadres who are celebrating are not going to be there to save him

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  36. IT IS JUST COMMON SENSE HOW DO YOU EXPECT THE APPOINTEES SAY OF THE QUEEN OF UK TO GO AGAINST THE APPOINTING AUTHORITY. EXPECTING THAT TO HAPPEN IS AS GOOD TRYING TO GROW HAIR ON AN EGG. IF THOSE OPPOSED TO LUNGU’S RULE ARE SERIOUS THE ONLY WAY IS TO MOBILIZE THE MASSES WITH CLEAR MESSAGE HOW THEY ARE GOING TO SOLVE THE ZAMBIAN ECONOMIC PUZZLE. OTHERWISE IT WILL JUST BE FINGER POINTING UNTIL THE FINGER WILL GET FANTGUED.

  37. This broken record is irritating. Some things should be let to sleep. God is the ultimate judge. Why are you wasting time on irrelevant issues?

  38. Time to put this case to bed. Let’s prioritise cleaning up the constitution so that it is crystal clear and simple for even me to know what it says. This for me is a demonstration that some clauses in our constitution are poorly drafted. Let’s now focus on 12 Aug. Game on guys get busy in the field. I can’t wait to exercise my right to vote! One Zambia One Nation is still a valid Motto and we must uphold it.

  39. @Nemwine The so called scholars have already failed. No one trusts them now. These were the same self proclaimed scholars who had crossed their hearts and claimed, that President Edgar Lungu was not eligible to contest. They stand exposed, completely.

  40. Like this fiasco, UPND’s bid to win elections will also fail. I am happy that UPND will now be shown it’s place. I am loving it!

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  41. This is the beginning of the end of UPND and its anti national politics. Hope this opens the eyes of those who blindly believe in everything thief Hakainde Hichilema says. Time to use your own brain, guys!

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  42. All those self proclaimed legal experts on social media have suddenly gone underground. The motor mouths were arguing for HH as if it was the matter of their life and death! Now it is the matter of life and death for UPND as a political party. The decision by the ConCourt has sealed the fate and credibility of UPND has been washed out completely.

  43. Now, would these self proclaimed saviours of Constitution, file similar petition seeking details of massive wealth amassed by HH? The nation has right to know that and the ‘moral police’ of the country, an obligation prove that they are honest and impartial. If they fail to petition the court seeking details of the source of HH’s wealth, it will be admission of the fact that they are paid by HH.

  44. Where would you hide the face now, Hakainde Hichilema? You have got an egg on face, once again. If you have even slightest of conscious, better apologise to the people of Zambia. But I am sure, you won’t. You are the shameless person.

  45. A tight slap on the face of everyone who was criticising the court for its previous judgement. This has once again exposed desperation of HH and UPND to come to power. But their sinister plan will never succeed.

  46. It is once again proved that Hakainde Hichilema is scared of Edgar Lungu. He has no courage to face him on ballot. Therefore he is using his pawns to file such dubious petitions to kill time and dent the image of President Lungu. But it has been endorsed once again that HH is peddling fake narrative.

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  47. No matter how hard they try to stop ECL from contesting. The fact is that he is more than 100% eligible to contest. On the contrary, I can see all the efforts literally being flushed out when Hakainde Hichilema goes to jail and that too for 14 years!!!

  48. The Best way any competent Lawyer can do is to recheck the Dan Pule petition and find out what did Pule present before court? and what Judgement come out of court .Scrutinise that Judgement and see if it corresponds to the current petition which sought to Interpret the clauses at 106. The way Hr.Kapalasa as layman at law rushed his petition to the court before filling of nominations was so premature.Can this be water under the bridge or are we yet to see how the ruling will fare in future?

  49. This CONCOURT… The rate at which we are going will declare ECL winner of the 2021 elections even before VOTING DAY…ECL is prepared to risk everything and cross the RED line just to RETAIN POWER….

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  50. Zambians and its lawyers lot are a bunch of cowards. Lawyers put forward their own interest above the country. They cant interpret the constitution professionally. Thats why KK danced on your heads for 27 years and now it EC to twist your arms for being cowards.

  51. Zambians and its lawyers are a bunch of cowards. KK left a legacy of fear in zambians which will take years to come.

  52. Mery Bemba @51, I hv said legal scholars will analyze the judgement using well-known methods in jurisprudence, the area of law that studies the logic of legal arguments. Legal scholars are not a court. A court judgement in a superior court that does not throw light on a matter brought to court is derided in legal circles.

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  53. HH will be happy that Lungu stays on the roll, it should be easy to beat Lungu with his extremely popular stance among Zambian voters.

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  54. flag Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    A disgrace of a bunch of stooges calling themselves a Constitutional Court.
    1st of all, these disgraced so called judges refused the petitioners to withdraw their case so they could deliver their so called judgment meant to preempt any future serious cases against Lungu’s candidate eligibility. Who stops someone from withdrawing their case?
    This is all meant to shield and insulate Lungu’s 3rd term from being challenged by serious Constitutional lawyers… where are those lawyers who presided over FTJ’s father and KK’s eligibility?
    By the way Dan Pule’s verdict said they couldn’t rule on Lungu’s eligibility prematurely and preemptively because he had not filed his nomination papers yet. But here they seem to slam the door shut on everything to do with Lungu’s eligibility…

  55. What now mr constitutional lawyer john sangwa ,kbf.and chipenzi. Now you look like children who embark.on fruitless expedition

  56. flag Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    …. But here they seem to slam the door shut on everything to do with Lungu’s eligibility. Ridiculous!
    Trust me this entire petition was orchestrated by Lungu and his minions and these petitioners are paid mercenaries… the entire thing was planned and executed accordingly (including the fake withdrawal of the case) to arrive at where we are today… what a failed project this thing called Zambia is!

  57. The case is not over yet. The real Concourt session will be held and decided by the real Concourt judges (the Zambian electorates) on 12 August 2021. The Zambian electorates will decide whether HE ECL should be allowed a third term or not.

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