Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Eligibility and Running Mate Cases: Lessons Learnt


By Peter Sinkamba President The Greens

I hope there are lessons that have been learnt from the eligibility and Running Mate cases that were determined by the Consitutional Court on thid much anticipated D-Day, today. It is important to draw lessons from the cases as the Nation matches towards 12 August elections, which potentially will be the axis of election petitions this century in Zambia.

In my view, three cardinal lessons have or ought to have been learnt. The first lesson is or ought be that in interpreting statutes, the judges’ freedom is restricted by the rules of precedent. The second lesson is or ought be that their freedom is restricted by the supremacy of Parliament. The third lesson is or ought be that their freedom is restricted to the rules of statutory interpretation.

The two cases have truly demonstrated that courts cannot unsurp the role of the legislature and make decisions or create laws. It has been demonstrated without any iota of doubt that judges confine themselves to their territories, and to guidelines given to them by the legislature, until the legislature steps in again to amend or indeed make another law.

It has been demonstrated that judges cannot venture into ‘judicial adventurism’ in pursuit of their own notions of justice, or indeed yield to public pressure, ignoring the limits of the law.

Therefore, as we match towards 12 August, lawyers need to take time to read carefully the full judgments, so that they do not mislead their clients that may hire them if need be for petitions coming before the Concourt.

Finally, it important to mention that the dissenting judgment by Justice Professor Munalula is proof that the Concourt is truly independent in its pursuit to give effect to constitutional policy.

Let’s all applaud, support and have confidence in this critical apex court.


  1. How could anyone confidently pen a piece like this b4 the text of the full judgement is available? Anyway, it’s just the leader of a me-too one-issue political party. It’s exactly wht is to be expected from his type.

  2. No lessons to be learnt from this kangaroo court.
    On August 12, the peoples court will deliver the final judgement.

  3. This eligibility case in now stale and old news…Lusaka Times find developmental stories…lets move on….blah blah blah…let the voters decide and that’s what elections are for…not pinning hopes on the court system

  4. Mr Sinkamba is high on weed as usual. The most important lesson learnt is that apart from Prof Munalula the rest of Concourt Judges owe their allegiance to ECL who is their Appointing Authority. The 8 Concourt Judges failed to defend and uphold the Republican Constitution. A vote against Lungu is a vote of no Confidence in the 8 Concourt Judges and the errant AG. The Real Concourt of Public Opinion will have its say on Augpust 12 thru the Ballot Box. Zambians stopped Chiluba from his Third Term Bid and can do the same to Lungu on August 12. Zambians have already voted for Lungu twice and Concourt can’t force them to vote for him for the third time in breach of the Republican Constitution. On August 12 Zambians will finish ECL off.The writing is on the wall.

  5. We are eagerly waiting for the full text judgement. There seems to be a problem here with this judgement. If am elected president and sworn into office and then dissolve Parliament 34 months later I will be deemed not to have held office. so I can continue being president so long I dissolve Parliament every 34 months. They call it wamuyaya, we are back thanks to this judgement.

  6. The tribal upnd monkeys have been taught a lesson. They thought going behind and using courts would win them the election. Zambia is a parliamentary democracy which selects its leaders through free and fair elections and not f00Iish petitions by clowns calling themselves bally. Very childish k0lwes these upnd fagg0ts. My friend fuseke from here!!

  7. I hope this judgement doesn’t bring confusion. Is the president of Zambia a president elect having been sworn in or not until he is president for 36 months. What happens to a president who before has served 36 months is overthrown? Arising from this judgement do we then say there was no president overthrown on account that he did not serve 36 months ,notwithstanding he was elected and sworn in?

  8. When we apply the judicial reasoning of this judgement to president rupiah banda, do we then say he was never President because he served for less than 36 months? Are then in order to demand that he surrenders all the acrued retirement benefit to the state since he did not hold office for 36 months? Both President banda and lungu were elected under the 1996 amended constitution.

  9. I support what Sinkamba is saying lawyers are misleading their clients. For they continue showing Article106(3) which is about occupying the office twice hiding from them Article 103(1) which is about the meaning of term. Which states that term should be 3 or more years. Not telling clients that ECL only ruled 1 complete year

  10. Kommanda can put it this way, “The greatest ineligible is great the dictator”. Our judiciary isn’t immune. The Judge Chikopa Tribunal was shot down prematurely because it could’ve exposed the kind of judiciary we have. We’ll wait to hear the judgement from Professor Munalula. I’ll repeat that Zambia is full of illegalities. The Registrar of Societies has still kept Daniel Pule’s Christian Democratic Alliance on the register even when the Constitution says that no political party shall be founded based on religious beliefs. The moment he’ll shift his allegiance his Party will be de-registered without notice and the police set on him. Poverty has compromised many people. Zambia is slowly losing its respect in the region. At the moment we no longer enjoy that respect we were…

  11. LT why do you keep publishing every post this bootlicker posts. Sinkamba dont cheat yourself that you are a Political party there is nothing Green about apart from the Green in your potted plants hidden somewhere…you are a business entity.

  12. The Legislature formulates laws and the Judiciary interprets. Bear in mind that legal minds are always ready to pen down parliament comes up with the n the name of Constitution.
    What I wish to see is Linda Kasonde, Sishuwa Sishuwa and Sangwa help in the streamlining of the constitution making it less contradictory. Even opposition MP’s are to blame because they always want to boycott and abandon debates but get allowances. How, for staying away? When discussing their pay rise, they hang on; time for Bill10, they hang up! Some lessons learned the hard way.

  13. Its only a matter of time before someone petitions the validity of that signature Lazy Lungu signed on his so called People driven Constitution in Zambia in July 2015 as President based on this judgement…these Concourt Judges have opened Pandora’s box of a constitutional mess!!

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