The Constitutional Court Judgment Should Serve as a Lesson to ECZ


University Of Zambia Historian Euston Chiputa says the Constitutional Court judgment on the eligibility of Bowman Lusambo and Joseph Malanji to recontest the Kabushi and Kwacha Parliamentary By-elections respectively should serve as a lesson to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to stick to laws as opposed to wanting to impress the appointing authority.

This week, the Constitutional Court ruled that Both Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji are eligible to stand in the forth-coming Parliamentary By-elections.

Commenting on this development, Dr Chiputa says the UPND should have avoided embarrassing itself by allowing the 2 former members of parliament to file their nominations for the forthcoming by-elections.

Dr Chiputa says the ruling party is doing well in improving people’s lives but notes that it is embarrassments such as losing an avoidable court case that can take away the gains made.

He is also of the view that it will be difficult for the UPND to win the two by-elections with Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji as candidates for the former ruling party, something he says would bring further embarrassment.

Meanwhile, Green Party leader Peter Sinkamba has advised ECZ to announce, without any further reference or directions of the court, that the nominations of Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji are valid and extend the campaign period for a reasonable time following yesterday’s court decision, to avoid the consequences of running an illegal election.

Meanwhile, The State through the Attorney General has applied to be joined to the case in which Hon. Bowman Lusambo and Joseph Malanji have sued the Electoral Commission of Zambia.

In this case, the duo petitioned the ECZ and challenged its decision in which they were barred to file their nominations on the purported reason that they were not disqualified under Articles 72 (2) and 72(4).

Judges D.M. Bowman and Judge C. Lombe Phiri who are hearing the matter have adjourned to make a ruling on the application by the State.


    • ECZ must recoup their reputation.
      Now sitting awkwardly, they soiled themselves when they wrote the disqualification letter and barred them effectively.

      ECZ should have allowed the duo to register and waited for other ordinary Zambians, like Gears, to petition the pair’s candidature in court. This would have prevented people from thinking there is a “divine” invisible hand directing ECZ actions when hopefuly there is none at all.

    • a lesson to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to stick to laws as opposed to wanting to impress the appointing authority.
      Not only is this a lesson for ECZ other institutions need to learn from there. These include the Investigator General of Police and Judges too

  1. Are these judges smart? The CC was not asked to disqualify but uphold nullification of the two guys. ECZ has the power to disqualify a candidate based on the outlined requirements in the Zambian constitution. That is what happened with Lusambo and Malanji. The question that should be answered is: Did the two guys cause the by-election?

  2. ECZ has nothing to learn. They did nothing wrong. They quoted the constitution very correctly in rejecting those nominations from corrupt politicians. It is the concourt with a problem. Those concourt judges are not super angels, they are human just like the rest of us

  3. Jaba! The damn nullification was due to “electoral malpractices” and with that the ConC provides the basis for ECZ “substantiated barring/disqualification” of the petitioners for this parliament – for heavens sake go plant trees bakwetu, eish !!!

  4. As long as our presidency is the Bamba Zonke system no arm of government will act freely. Yes you can quote the Constitution but only in part up to the stage where it suits you desired goal. Even the Bible is only quoted as the pastor wants it to go.

    • Many people like me don’t like the PF per se. We are happy to have been “liberated”. But some UPND negative behaviours and notable mistakes will either cause voter apathy or protest votes against the ruling party.
      Intelligent Copperbelt already knows which candidate they want for MP.

  5. The con court didn’t say they are eligible. They said a nulifcation is not a disqualification. The concourt nullified the that dificult to understand u pf cadre..qualification or disqualification that is nw upto ecz.

  6. What lesson? Some Zambians love cheating themselves
    The ConCourt was powerless to address questions 1,2 and 3 of the petition.
    Instead, they opted to deal with question 4 which simply required consulting an Oxford English dictionary.
    Questions 1,2 and 3 relate to ECZ as a body which is independent even from the Judiciary.
    The ConCourt knows its boundaries.

  7. The clause “CAUSING A VACCANCY” on which ECZ relied on to disqualify the two candidates was meant to discourage MPs from crossing political floors by resigning, to join another party hoping to be readopted and causing unending unnecessary bye elections.

    The dual seats were ANNULED, but candidates were not DISQUALIFIED because they did not resign to “cause” a parliament vacancy.

    A rerun will prove Joe’s and Bow’s potence or lack of it. Let ECZ redeem their face by extend voting period and candidate selections for fresh elections.

  8. Some contestants may be viewed more powerful than others. Some institutions may make Zambia be viewed like we are in a constitutional crisis.

  9. We are getting to a stage where all a criminal suspect has to do is walk into court with a dictionary…………..

    The argument is now about the English language, not the crime………..

  10. Malangi and Bowman did alot to their constiuences hence the other camp is afraid simple,but what is important if the wellfare of these two constiuences were met why not returning them,aweeee naimwe isoni ebuntu just accept the rule of law and stop masqualleding twanaka we need to move on shame ECZ.

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