The Constitutional Court will on Monday determine whether the Electoral Commission of Zambia contravened the Constitution when it failed to cancel an election and call for fresh nominations Kabushi and Kwacha constituencies when independent candidates tendered their resignation on 12th and 13th September, respectively.
Article 52(6) of the Zambian Constitution require the Commission to cancel the election, call for fresh nominations and hold elections within 30 days after the holding of fresh nominations whenever a candidate resigns, dies, or is disqualified by a court before the date of an election.
During the hearing in Lusaka, the Electoral Commission of Zambia had told the Court that it did not cancel the election when candidates resigned because there was a High Court Order dated 13th September, 2022 stopping them to do anything with the Kabushi and Kwacha elections.
But Green Party President Peter Sinkamba and Governance Activist Isaac Mwanza said the Commission was under a mandatory obligation to cancel an election the moment they accepted the resignations on the 14th September, 2022.
During the hearing in Lusaka, the petitioners showed the Court that the said court order did not prevent the Commission from dealing with nominations that were held on 25th August, which have since become invalid upon resignation by candidates.
“In fact my ladies, the Commission proceeded to accept the resignations on 14th September, a day after the Court order was in effect. This shows the Commission deliberately made an omission to cancel an election before or during the time the court order was in effect,” said Green Party President Sinkamba
And during the hearing in Ndola, Mr Mwanza told the Court the excuse by the Commission that they could not do anything with the election was deliberately calculated to mislead the Court because the Commission have twice ignored the same Court order by setting a new election date, asking parties to campaign in addition to having accepted nominations while the order remain in place.
“The Commission has shown that it will neither respect the Constitution and is acting above the courts in Zambia. It’s omissions and decisions have not only continued to undermine the Constitution but to also showed total contempt against the courts of law,” he said.
And President Sinkamba asked the Court to allow him commence contempt proceedings at a later date against the three ECZ Commissioners who have shown contempt against the Constitutional Court.
The petitioners have since called on the Court to order for cancellation of elections in Kabushi and Kwacha constituencies because the nominations have become invalid due to the resignation of candidates on 12th and 13th September, 2022.