Lusaka ~ Mon, 7 Jun 2021
By Brightwell Chabusha
The Constitutional Court has set Friday as the day for judgment in a petition which is challenging President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility to contest the August 12, 2021 elections.
Court president Hildah Chibomba, who sat with eight other judges, reserved the judgment to Friday, June 11, after President Lungu’s lawyers, the State and John Sangwa who is representing the petitioners argued the case.
The petitioners are Legal Resources Foundation (LRF), University of Zambia researcher and lecturer Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa and Chapter One Foundation.
The petitioners are seeking a declaration that President Lungu has twice held office as President and therefore, is not eligible to contest the forthcoming Presidential Elections.
But President Lungu’s lawyers Bonaventure Mutale, Eric Silwamba and others, argued that the Head of State is eligible to contest the coming elections.
Mr Mutale argued that the Daniel Pule and Others vs the Attorney General judgement of 2018 would stand a test of time.
He said the court in the Pule petition found that President Lungu had not served two terms and asked the court to dismiss the petition.
Attorney general Likando Kalaluka also urged the court to dismiss the petition as it was an abuse of the court.
The Attorney General argued that the issues raised were already settled by the same court in two other petitions.
But Mr Sangwa argued that President Lungu was not eligible to re-contest this year’s general elections.
He said nowhere in the two petitions did the court declare that President Lungu was eligible to stand because the petitions were about interpretation of the law.
After hearing the preliminary issues raised and also the main matter, the court reserved judgment.