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.