CONCERNS by GEARS Initiative Zambia that the Electoral Commission of Zambia has breached the Constitution by setting 12th August, 2021 as the date for 6 parliamentary Constituencies and 6 Local Government elections following fresh nominations held on 12th July 2021 are valid, Governance Activist Isaac Mwanza has observed.
Mr Mwanza who has several times taken ECZ to court said it is indisputable that an ensuing election taking place under Article 52(6) of the Constitution must be held within 30 days from the date of fresh nominations.
“In accordance with Article 269 of the Constitution on the computation of time, the period between 11th July, 2021 and 12th August, 2021 accounts for 31 days and falls outside the 30 days stated in the Constitution,” said Mwanza.
Mr Mwanza has said that elections in Lusaka Central, Mandevu, Chawama, Kasenengwa, Mafinga, and Mpulungu parliamentary Constituencies as well as mayoral and Councillors for Luanshya District, Matanda Ward, Mushili, Kamakonde, Kabwale, and Ichinga Wards which will be held after 11th August, 2021 are illegal, unconstitutional, null and void as they violate the Constitution.
“ECZ acted within the law to cancel elections under Article 52(6) but the same Commission has violated the very law it sought to uphold by setting the election outside the constitutionally prescribed 30 days. The Commission is bound by Article 1(3) of the Constitution and the omission on its part cannot make its action lawful,” said Mwanza
Mr Mwanza has thus warned that the holding the election on the 31st day has created a fertile ground for anyone or losing candidates to petition and call for nullification of elections in those constituencies and councils.
He has since asked the Commission to take step regularize the elections in constituencies and wards so they can conform to the “within the 30 days” constitutional requirement and not the 31 days the Commission has set.