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Waste No Time on Eligibility Court Cases, Focus on Elections, Sinkamba advises PF Members

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Green Party President Peter Sinkaba has advised the ruling Patriotic Front(PF) rank and file not to waste time on the eligibility cases but focus on wooing voters for President Edgar Lungu and the PF because the issues in contention on the eligibility of President to contest the 2021 elections have already been settled by the Constitutional Court in previous decisions of the Court.

In a statement released to the media today, Mr Sinkamba said that he had gone through the issues being raised and said that the case appears to him the contest is on general matters that have already been determined by the Court and that people don’t go to the courts to solve general matters and shape law.

Below is the full Statement

Re: My Message to PF Rank and File: Waste No Time on Eligibility Court Cases, Focus on Elections

As the Green Party, we would like to advise the PF rank and file not to waste time on the eligibility cases but focus on wooing voters for President Edgar Lungu and the PF because the issues in contention on the eligibility of President to contest the 2021 elections have already been settled by the Constitutional Court in previous decisions of the Court. PF members should leave the court cases to the lawyers and focus of campaigning for time is not static but running out. These court cases are merely distractions.

I have gone through various arguments advanced by proponents of the petitions. It appears to me that the contest is on general matters that have already been determined by the Court. You don’t go to the courts to solve general matters and shape law. For that, you go to the legislature. You go to the court to resolve particular disputes. For the health of the Nation and the rule of law, it is critical that we stop using courts as weapons to resolve general matters and shaping the law but instead view courts as avenues of recourse to resolve limited cases.

I say so because when the Constitutional Court or Supreme Court rules one way, it is likely to rule that way again. So continuing to push a law or policy that contradicts a previous decision essentially is an exercise in futility. A precedent that the court sets effectively is intended to prevent the same issue from arising. If parties are dissatisfied with the decisions of superior courts, the best place for them to go is to the legislature or parliament. The on-going elections present the best avenue to constitute a legislature that could refine policy issues or points of law that are in contention on the eligibility clauses. Otherwise, pushing the court route to resolve policy issues and refining the law is sheer waste of time.

The central issue in the current controversy is whether “held office” and “term of office” mean the same thing. In my view, such a question is a general matter that should be solved by the legislature and not the courts. What the court produces is not law per se, but a determination on how it interpreted an existing law for the purpose of settling a specific case or controversy. When the same issues and facts arise, they are settled based on that precedent.

In the previous cases, the Concourt generally held a consistent view that “held office” is linked to “term of office”, whereby a term means serving in the office of the president for a continuous period of three to five years. I agree with the court in many respects on this view. A Vice President usually holds the office of the President each time the President is out of the jurisdiction. In a five-year period or term, a Vice President can hold the office of the President for as many times as twenty, depending on the travels out of jurisdiction the President makes. Does such “holding” of office of President by the Vice President disqualify such a Vice President to contest as a presidential candidate in the next election? Was that the intention of the crafters of the Constitution?

What of a President, who, in a single five-year term more than twice handed over power to the Vice President, and in that manner more than twice held the office of the President, is that President eligible to contest the next election?

In my view, the issues that are being raised at this point are beyond the courts. These are now matters for the legislature to clarify. So, let’s not waste the court’s time.

Peter Sinkamba
President
The Greens
25 May 2021.

33 COMMENTS

  1. ZAMBIANS IGNORE FELLOW VISIONLESS LEADERS , THE ELIGIBILITY JUSTIFICATION IS PART OF THE ELECTORAL DUE
    PROCESS SO WE SHALL PUSH ON TO THE END . SC SANGWA ‘S GO ON

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  2. Is that a baobab tree on his party’s logo? Even him doesn’t believe in what he is pushing, why not put the ganja plant on his party emblem?

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  3. That’s like a senior politician telling caders don’t worry about the police , concentrate on stealing……..

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  4. So your follows should follow whose campaigns exactly because you sound like you standing on the wrong platform..
    Your example using position of vice president hmm like really

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  5. Also keep in mind there is error in law as such one judgment does not mean a different view can not be taken for proper interpretation.

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  6. The way he’s downplaying the eligiblity issue you’d believe him if you’re gullible like many PF cadres. The PF bread is well buttered.

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  7. Agreed.PF let us not waste time in this case.Uselesssssss case.PF let us also create accounts so that we fight with ba UPND social media.UPND candres are creating accounts on face book to insult PF and Lungu.One cadre is creating 10 accounts just to show that Zambians are tired of PF.The chaps are so desperate to rule this country.Indeed there is total triiiiiiiiiiballll politics in UPND.Let H.H lose maybe we can have one Zambia.His coming into politics has made this country to be divided.For it’s bantu—-stan

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  8. ZESCO FUNDS BEING DEPLETED ZRA NAPSA AIRTEL
    AND OBVIOUSLY ACCOUNT 99 AS WELL
    WHERE ARE THE FUNDS GOING ????

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  9. I am going to start my own party in Zambia so I can be afforded the luxury of speaking to myself and to Lusaka Times. Every week I will issue press statements concerning Edgar, the poor Zambians and the right to grow weed. I will also accuse HH of stealing privatisation funds and once in a while I will join the PF then leave then come back. I will have fantastic media limelight and I will be so famous that Chagwa Lungu wont ignore me. Thats all what Zambian opposition parties do. Yap yap yap yap!

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  10. I hope he gets his Weed cultivating licence because if PF wins and Stepten K is transferred from Home Affairs to another ministry …you will have to start again licking the new minister….what a sad life!!

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  11. What has happened to Peter? I thought he was one of the few that was objective. Ni nsala or there are some promises that we may not be preview to? This change of heart and style is worrying me. We need objectivity ba Sinkamba and let the concourt determine the matter. You cannot be a player and referee at the same time. I am as anxious as you may be but only difference between us is that you are judging before the case comes up tomorrow. I read the petition and this time it is not about generalities but an individual. So leave it at the table of our learned judges. And we must all accept the verdict not matter which side it swings and go and campaign in the spirit of one Zambia one nation one people.

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  12. You and your entire lot are nothing more than drunks kz; you can not to entrusted with the governance of this great nation ever again

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  13. UPND is doing this on purpose to distract the ruling party from elections and involve them in the Court matters and dates.

  14. Absolutely right! PF must ignore whatever UPND and its media team are doing and continue to do their work.

  15. Tell me something new! By now, we have completely understood the character of HH aka #Bally inside out. His only motto is the spread destruction and damages the peace of Zambians.

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  16. When Court already has gone through the entire case in 2016 and ordered in favor of President Lungu then why again and again UPND is debating on the same topic? What new thing they will get through repeating the same old story.

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  17. They are just scared of His Excellency and wanted to remove him from the race so that criminal HH has hopes to win.

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  18. There should not be even one percent confidence in HH and his supporters that he can win the upcoming elections. The kind of work Hichilema did in Zambia is shameful and disgusting that no true Zambians will be voting for him.

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  19. President Lungu and his administration never focused on elections or campaigns. They are focused on the development work across Zambia.

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  20. Hichilema knows that he can only survive with the help of sympathy votes. And he is trying hard to get the sympathy votes from Zambians.

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  21. HH has nothing to do and has nothing to lose as he is already a loser. His team is trying to paint a bad image of PF and nothing else.

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  22. Mr. Sinkamba, You are such a big disappointment. You are well educated, please just use your logic a little more. The Zambian constitution is in simple language, even for grade 12. First you paid bug money for PF constitution law breakers, l hope the cash did not come from PF or Chinaman. We won’t allow your personal agenda between ECL and you to disrespect the law again. Zambia is not PF Animal Farm.

  23. Mr. PhD candidate what rational writing is this marked by repetitions? You are propounding on the same point like a parrot. This is as a result of PhD shortcuts. The normal process is to first learn English 101 and 102, and then master academic writing. Your writing reflects your thinking on the matters of law and not what is enshrined therein. Law is not an art, it is an academic discipline with professional tenets. You first paragraph is enough to make a point. The lest is chaff. Ichamba ichi nacho kuti cha ku penya.

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