HIgh Court denies the state to stay the suspension of the by-elections

HIgh Court
HIgh Court

The Lusaka High Court has however quashed the State’s application for leave to appeal against the suspension of the Kabushi and Kwacha parliamentary by-elections. The Court has further denied an application by the state to stay the suspension of the by-elections.

On Tuesday this week, the Lusaka High Court suspended the Kwacha and Kabushi Parliamentary by-elections following the application by two former parliamentarians Joseph Malanji and Bowman Lusambo.

Mr. Malanji and Mr. Lusambo of the Patriotic Front (PF) contended that unless the by-elections were suspended, they would suffer prejudice.

However, the State has been granted leave to refer to the Constitutional Court some questions in the matter where Patriotic Front (PF) Kwacha Member of parliament Joseph Malanji and his Kabushi counterpart Bowman Lusambo have petitioned the rejection of their nomination papers.

The High Court is therefore today expected to hear Mr. Lusambo’s and Mr. Malanji’s petition and deliver the ruling on Tuesday next week.

On the other hand, in the application to raise constitutional issues on the petition, the state has contended that the High Court has no jurisdiction to determine Constitutional matters.

Earlier, Mr Malanji through his lawyers Makebi Zulu and Tutwa Ngulube submitted that the by-elections should be suspended to ensure justice in the matter.

“The petitioners will aver that the constitution clearly states that challenging the nomination is within seven days of the close of the nomination and that the court shall hear the case within 21 days of its lodgment and the process shall be completed at least 30 days before a general election,” he stated.

He insisted that they are eligible to contest the by-elections following the Constitutional Court judgement which clearly stated that nullification is not disqualification.

“That postponing the by-elections for Kabushi and Kwacha constituencies is necessary to ensure a free and fair election following the said judgement of the court advised on the need to avoid interpreting the constitution in a way that undermines the true purpose of the Constitutional provisions,” he said.

The duo urged the court to dismiss the preliminary issues raised by the State for lack of merit.

Attorney General Mulilo Kabesh had submitted that the High Court has no jurisdiction to determine the petition in the absence of any challenge of the nomination of candidates for the two constituencies in line with Article 52(4) of the constitution (Amendment) Act no.2 of 2016.

Mr Kabesha argued that the court has no jurisdiction to interpret the constitution in relation to Article 128(1)(a) of the constitution (Amendment) Act no.2 of 2016.


  1. Why should the State be the one to appeal? This is a party matter which should be handled by Upnd lawyers. Malanji and Bowman are not aliens and neither are they villains. They must enjoy the republic’s fruits just like members of the Upnd are enjoying.

    • Because the government is contending that the court acted utravires, which is to say outside the law. The problem is that HH did not rid the court of PF judges, and now they are coming to bite him. He simply should have fired all of them, as he can, and opened the bench to the appointment of others. I know it is terrible for the judiciary to be poisoned that way, but that is the system he found. His predecessors set up the system that way, and then abused it to fill the bench with their own judges. HH should not imagine or pretend that the court in Zambia is independent. The court was loaded on a tribal basis with PF supporters. If HH fires them, he can then begin to make as reflective and representative of the country as his cabinet is.

  2. I am so disappointed in the Attorney General, Government’s chief legal advisor.

    The High Court suspended the Kabushi and Kwacha by elections on account of the ConCourt judgment which said that the Kabushi and Kwacha PF candidates were eligible to contest. Here comes the Attorney General applying for a stay of the High Court order. Effectively, by applying for a stay, the Attorney General wanted the elections to go ahead despite the ConCourt’s ruling that the two candidates were eligible to stand and, by extension, ought to have been on the ballot. And to whom are they appealing against the High Court’s suspension of the by elections? The same ConCourt which already said the two candidates are eligible.

    What’s happening kanshi?

    • “And to whom are they appealing against the High Court’s suspension of the by elections”

      Malanji and Lusambo sued ECZ and prayed for a stay which was granted. The State contested that suspension in court, but the court has stood its ground, to continue with the elections halt.

      The consolation for the State is that they have been allowed to go to Concourt to challenge the duo’s eligibility.

  3. The courts in Zambia are the last defense of PF. They lost at the polls, and now want to control the country through the judiciary poisoned by partisan and tribal judges they appointed. HH needs to cleanout this rotten institution, otherwise his government will lose case after case at the hands of these people. It is that simple. They hide under high and serious sounding titles like “Constitutional Court”, but in reality, they are nothing but a gang of PF cadres defending the PF agenda.

  4. This court case lost by the UPND is just adding to the embarrassment we already saw last week where the president was door to door canvassing for votes in an illegal election (assumedly so).

    It makes me wonder:

    How do you go to court to seek continuation of suspended bye elections when ECZ is awaiting the High Court NOMINATION judgement?

    Do the Justice Minister and the Attorney General have eyes to see the contentious anomalies in these cancelled elections, where the ask for a stay?

    Why is the government in a hurry with these elections when the Law allows for a 90-days (3 months) window?

    Could the State losing several cases in court mean that their legal minds are ineffective, devoid of solid grounds?

    Does the president near him have people LESS equal to the tasks…

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