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Alba Iulia
Friday, June 11, 2021

President and Vice President of the Republic of Zambia: How to Qualify and Not Qualify According to the Constitution

Columns President and Vice President of the Republic of Zambia: How to Qualify...

By Peter Sinkamba President The Greens

In the next 24 hours, Zambia shall know how to be, and how not to be a President or Vice President of the Republic of Zambia.

The Constitutional Court, an apex body that we the People of Zambia have delegated authority in terms of Articles 1(5); 5: 127; 128; and 129 to hear and determine matters relating to the Constitution, will be making a final determination on qualifications a of a President or Vice President of the Republic of Zambia.

Until the next review of the Constitution, the determination we anticipate from the Constitutional Court in the next 24 hours, will bring to finality lingering questions on qualifications to hold one of the two apex offices in the Republic of Zambia.

Generally speaking, there are four ways in which one can hold office of the Vice President in the Republic of Zambia, as follows:

  1. First, when one is appointed as a Running Mate by a Presidential Candidate, and that Presidential Candidate is duly elected and sworn-in as President
  2. Second, subject to approval by Parliament, when a minister is appointed by a Vice President who assumes office of President on account of the office of the President has fallen vacant
  3. Third, subject to approval by Parliament, when a Cabinet Minister is appointed by another Cabinet Minister who assumes office of the President after being elected by fellow Cabinet Ministers on account that the offices of the President and the Vice President have fallen vacant at the same time
  4. Fourth, after Parlianent is dissolved, a Vice President continues to hold office of Vice President until the next President-Elect is sworn-in

Generally speaking, there are six ways in which one hold office of the President in the Republic of Zambia, as follows:

  1. First, after being elected and sworn in as President
  2. Second, after Parlianent is dissolved, a President continues to hold office of the President until the next President-Elect is sworn-in
  3. Third, a Speaker of the National Assembly assumes office oc the President on account that an incumbent President who recontested elections vacates office because his or her re-election has been petitioned in the Constitutional Court
  4. Fourth, a Vice President who assumes office of the President on account that office of the President has fallen vacant
  5. Fifth, a Cabinet Minister who is elected by fellow Cabinet Ministers after the offices of the President and Vice President simultaneously fall vacant
  6. Sixth, subject to approval by Parliament, a President whose tenure is extended account that elections cannot be held because the Republic is in a state of war, state of emergency or state of threatened emergency

In all above scenarios for qualification to assume office of the President, where tenure is less than three years, such a period is not recognised by the Constitution as a term. If the tenure is three years and above, then that period is recognised by the Constitution as a term.

According to prior decisions of the Constitutional Court, a person who has served for less than three years as President, that period so served does not count in terms of qualification of that person for election or re-election as President of the Republic of Zambia.

We await to hear what the Constitutional Court will determine on above issues in the next 24 hours.

From me, all I can say is: all the best to the litigants and their supporters.

11 COMMENTS

  1. I changed my perception of Peter Sinkamba that moment he queued at the bank to pay nkongole for Stephen Kampyongo that arose from a ConCourt judgement that he and others held office illegally when Parley was dissolved. The mischief in the article is that he’s deliberately elected not to discuss the 1996 Constitution that fully apply to Edgar’s first term. You can’t deceive all the people all of the times, pumbafu

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  2. Us in pf are not even wasting our time on this. A case which was already decided by constitutional court kiki. We want to thank the upnd for making the lawyers richer. For us we continue engaging with voters because we know it’s the voters who make you president and not a judge.

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  3. It seems studying law is no longer a profession in Zambia. Lungu was sworn in as a president under the old constitution. And his first reign is judged and determined by the old constitution not the current one. If Lungu will will die in office for example in 2025, then Luo’s reign to the next general elections will not constitute a term and will qualify to go for the third third term in 2036 because the whole scenario will be regarded to have happened the new constitution.
    For the currently eligibility case, it just shows how dull Zambian lawyers are including the ruler lawyer himself because his first reign was determined by the old constitution under which he was sworn.

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  4. People like Peter have too much time on their hands…just pray that Stephen K connects you for a weed license before August because there will changes and reshuffles.

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  5. It will be on record. The next non-PF government of Zambia should set up a tribunal just like this one did against the judge Musonda etc and the DPP Mutembo Nchito etc against most of the Con court judges. The tribunal should be chaired by a senior South African judge and made up of senior Kenyan, Malawian and English judges who are experts in constitutional law. We need to clean up the Con Court. After that, the LAZ should suspend their law practice licences until they are re-educated at UNZA Law school and re-sit ZIALE kikikikikikiki

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  6. Why waste time on trivialities? Is this a crystal clear indicator of how the Chosen One is greatly feared by his opponents? Let’s stop making noise like empty tins and humbly await the outcome from the spire legal body of the nation.

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  7. One man parties have become very vocal, I guess it is democracy, so much as we may not take them seriously, let us respect their existence. I think for him, he does not even have a constituency chairman in Shiwang’andu at his friends

  8. The Zambia constitution can’t allow Edgar to contest elections 3 times, but then name Edgar Lungu is not found in Zambian constitution, therefore he qualifies.

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