Sunday, June 23, 2024

LAZ calls for urgent constitutional reforms

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The Law Association of Zambia LAZ says there is need for urgent constitutional reforms to address the various lacunae in the Country’s current legislation.

Law Association of Zambia President Lungisani Zulu says his Association has been compelled to provide clarity and guidance following the observed

]public discourse concerning the eligibility of former Kabushi and Kwacha Members of Parliament Bowman Lusambo and Joseph Malanji to re-contest their seats nullified by the constitutional court last month.

Mr. Zulu in a statement this evening said eligibility to stand as a Member of Parliament is provided for under the constitution of Zambia and that adherence to the provisions of the constitution affects the rule of law, which is why the association has decided to offer its understanding of the law.

“The Law Association of Zambia LAZ has followed the public discourse surrounding the eligibility of Mr. Bowman Lusambo and Mr. Joseph Malanji to

re-contest as candidates for Members of Parliament following the decisions of the Constitutional Court to nullify their seats.

“Eligibility to stand as a Member of Parliament is provided for under the Constitution of Zambia and adherence to the provisions of the

Constitution affects the rule of law and it is for this reason and in light of the extended public interest that LAZ has felt statutorily bound to offer its understanding of the law” he said

Mr. Zulu has guided that in the case of Joseph Malanji whose election was nullified for not possessing a grade 12 certificate, the question of whether he can recontest his seat depends on whether or not he was in possession of a Grade 12 certificate at the time of nominations and whether he will be able to provide evidence of the same.

In the case of Bowman Lusambo, the law provides that eligibility after nullification is dependent on whether the court not only nullifies the seat but also disqualifies the candidate in the petition.

According to the Constitution Court decision over Mr. Lusambo’s petition, the court merely nullified his election but did not disqualify him as a candidate, stating that nullification of an election is not the same as disqualification of a candidate.

“According to the Constitutional Court decision in The Law Association of Zambia v The Attorney General 2021/CCZ/0051, where this issue was addressed, the Court stated that a nullification of a seat by the court is distinct and not the same thing as disqualification of a person. Our perusal of the decision in the Lusambo v Kanengo case reveals that the court merely nullified the seat without disqualifying Mr. Lusambo in the election petition” he added.

23 COMMENTS

  1. Our constitution needs refinement. In the case of Lusambo, after nullification of his seat, there are no consequences prescribed for such shortcomings. Equally, in Malanji’s case, there are no penalties or consequences prescribed for failure to provide documents required to contest a seat. We therefore need a constitution that provides for such offenses including penalties. As we drat the constitution, let us include mon legal professionals to assist the lawyers in coming up with a decent constitution this time around. The legal minds have failed this great country. I submit.

  2. LAZ has failed to take a firm stand on our legal matters… this is because they are politically inclined. If the president of the LAZ hates the sitting president they will aim at that president instead of looking at the law says on any issue at hand. In the end they fail to make a point let alone progress.
    Let the law control what politicians do.

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  3. LAZ is hereby reaffirming the fact that the duo can stand if they are not disqualified. So the law is clear. The only problem is that people (ECZ, Political parties – UPND, PeP etc tryna interpret the law are simply du.ll.
    What is clear is that there is no disqualification and the Constitution is clear.
    As usual, partisan politics and cadres are messing up institutions.
    ECZ, ZP through to ACC are now heavily compromised.
    You say cadres messed up PF. Suffice to say here also that cadres are messing up UPND.
    The bombshell by ECZ is actually no bombshell but an embarrassment which should not be happening.

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  4. Since 1996, law reformation have been so partisan, biased, and targeted at certain personalities and political groups. Sometimes making some clauses so vague and phases incoherent, fraught with dangerous loopholes.
    LAZ when badly needed does not help matters and one wonders about their mandate. Whose interest does LAZ serve?
    In July, immediately Kabushi and Nkana were declared vacant by Concourt, Chipenzi’s GEARS was the first to comment on the implications of such a verdict. No where have LAZ said anything for us to know their take. LAZ are the biggest let down. They are fire fighters; they are not proactive. LAZ lags behind dragging feet on national matters instead of leading the way.

  5. There are two distinct areas here.
    1. Malanji was ” nullified” due to not submitting a grade 12 certificate. Therefore he should have been ” disqualified” from the onset. If the court has nullified on this basis where is he going to get the certificate now. ECZ should not have allowed him to stand in the first place. Therefore disqualified.
    2. Bowman is vague and depends how it is decided.

    As far as I am concerned Malanji should be banned ;;;; poor him;;;;

  6. EVEN THE LAW ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA DOES NOT KNOW THAT TO DISQUALIFY OR QUALIFY A CANDIDATE SEEKING TO CONTEST AN ELECTION IS THE MANDATE OF THE ECZ AND NOT THE COURTS. WHY SHOULD THE COURTS PERFORM FUNCTIONS OF ECZ IF I MAY ASK. THE JUDGES LEFT OUT THE “QUALIFICATION’ OF “DISQUALIFICATION” PART BECAUSE
    1. IT IS NOT FOR THEM TO DETERMINE BUT ECZ
    2. A MATTER BEFORE THEM WAS THAT OF NULLIFICATION OF AN ELECTION AS A RESULT OF ELIGIBILTY OR FOUL PLAY AND NOT THE ELIGIBILTY OF A CANDIDATE. SO HOW COULD THEY HAVE PASSED JUDGEMENT ON A MATTER NOT BEFORE THEM TO DELIBERATE MWEFIKOPO?

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    • It may be ECZ’s mandate to qualify or disqualify , but the mistake ECZ made was to disqualify the candidates before they even filed in their nominations and not even giving the reasons for their disqualification. ECZ should first have received the nomination papers, scrutinized them, and then informed the candidates of their shortcomings, after which they would have declared them ineligible. ECZ did not do this at all.

  7. For Malanji to lie should have been penalized onset as in any case was already getting perks and allowances as an MP when he lied his way to adoption.
    The constitutional court itself is a problem and is not courageous enough to interpret the law. All these different views are coming because of it. It should as well be disbanded and let courageous men and women take the helm. Lungi is intepreting the judgement which is fine but the problem lies with constitutional court.

    • I guess even the LAZ is tasked with the duty of interpreting the statutes, educating masses and inverting the law jargon into meaningful contexts. They must be swift at actively responding to matters of public concern.

  8. Under Article 72 (4) Mr. Malanji did not cause a VANCY but the Electoral Commission of Zambia
    for duly accepting his nomination papers as valid.
    So its the ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF ZAMBIA and EXAMINATION COUNCIL OF ZAMBIA who should
    be held accountable and not JOEL

    I submit

  9. Article 72(4) talks about WHO CAUSES A VANCY. Simple logic tells you that Mr Malanji did not cause a VANCY
    but the two ECZs ( Electoral Commission of Zambia and Examination Council of Zambia ) fur Validly accepting his papers.
    So Malanji should be faulted.

    I submit

  10. LAZ is seriously misdirected on this one. To nullify is to make null and void or cancel out (which the Courts correctly did as mandated) while to disqualify means to pronounce (someone) ineligible for an office or activity because of an offence or infringement. To argue that the Constitutional Court didn’t disqualify Bowman Lusambo and Joseph Milanji to contest in an election is erroneous as the powers to disqualify a Candidate to contest in an election is vested in the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). Besides, ba LAZ, there is no Constitutional crisis at the moment to warrant an emergency. Welcome LAZ to the rule of Law.

  11. LAZ is the reason Zambia is in such a mess. Since when have they fairly interpreted the law? They interpret the law to suite their agenda. They are corrupt and compromised.

  12. One can be a lawyer but still dull. The face on this story says so. How does this nitwit expect us to spend money on the constitution again? Does he want to be paid as a member of the constitution reform commission? Bushe constitution kuchinja every week?

  13. The ECZ was clever in using the vacancy clause in the Constitution to reject the nomination papers of Lusambo and Malanji.
    Article 72(4) states: a person who causes a vacancy in the National Assembly due to reasons specified under clause 72(2)(a), (b), (c), (d), (g) and (h) shall not, during the term of that Parliament;
    (a) be eligible to contest an election
    72 (2) states; the office of Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the Member
    (h) is disqualified as a result of a decision of the Constitutional Court.
    These clauses tie the hands of the ConCourt. No need to argue about “Nullification” or “disqualification”

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