The Constitutional Court has dismissed a case in which UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema was challenging President Edgar Lungu’s decision not to hand over power to the Speaker of the National Assembly during the hearing of the Presidential election petition in 2016.
Judge Professor Margaret Munalula says in her judgment that both President Lungu and the Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini could not be held to have been in contravention of any constitutional provision when President Lungu continued to perform the executive functions.
Judge Munalula further ordered for each party to bear its own cost. This is because of the importance of the issue raised as it is constitutional in nature.
In this matter Mr. Hichilema and his then Vice President then Geoffery Mwamba petitioned the Presidential elections and wanted the court to order President Lungu to hand over power to Speaker of the National Assembly pending the outcome of the petition.
Mr. Hichilema and Mr. Mwamba argued that the continued stay of President Lungu in the office, while his election was petitioned, is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.
But, Attorney General Likando Kalaluka asked the court to dismiss the petition because Mr. Hichilema and Mr. Mwamba were not entitled to the remedies they were seeking.
In her judgment, Judge Munalula said the court entirely agreed with the position of the Attorney General.
The Court further said that it did not see a provision in the Constitution that allows the Speaker to assume Office of the President under the circumstances of the 2016 Presidential elections.
The other judges that heard the matter are judges Anne Sitali, Mungeni Mulenga, Palan Mulonda and Martin Musaluke.
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