By SIMON MUNTEMBA
THE Constitutional Court ruled that President Edgar Lungu was eligible to stand in 2021, and it is nonsensical for Fred M’membe to claim that he was seeking a third term, Lusaka lawyer Tutwa Ngulube has said.
And the Constitutional Court said it already made judgement on President Lungu’s eligibility which could be accessed as it was in public domain.
Mr Ngulube said it was laughable to hear people like Dr M’membe who is a lawyer to argue about whether or not President Lungu was eligible to contest the 2021 when he knew very well that the head of State has never served two terms. He was reacting to remarks by Dr M’membe who is opposition socialist Party leader that it was illegal for President Lungu to seek for a third term because he was elected and sworn in twice.
Dr M’membe was quoted in one of the Zambian tabloid that President Lungu was is not illegible to stand in 2021 Presidential elections because he had served two terms.
But Mr Ngulube wondered by people were busy debating on the eligibility matter that had already determined the Constitutional Court.
He urged Dr M’membe to read the whole Article 106 of the constitutional of Zambia for him to understand that President Lungu was eligible to stand in 2021.
He said Dr M’membe should not impose his reasoning in the constitution which was clear.
“It does not make sense for him to claim President Lungu was seeking a third term when he has not served two terms. Actually, it is laughable that a man of his caliber can be arguing about whether or not President Lungu’s when the Constitutional Court ruling is clear,” Mr Ngulube said.
He explained that the 1996 constitutional which required just one to be not eligible after being elected and sworn in twice regardless of time frame was no longer in force.
Mr Ngulube said Zambia was now using the 2016 Article 106 which defines a term as five years.
“So, President Lungu is eligible to contest next year’s general elections because the Constitution clearly states the number of years which make a term. He has served only one term,” he said.
Meanwhile, Constitutional court registrar Dorcas Malama has urged Zambians to read the judgement on the head of State’s eligibility to stand in 2021.
The Daily Nation had written to the constitution court, Justice Hilda Chibomba seeking “much clearer” interpretation of the Constitutional court’s judgement on the eligibility of President Lungu to stand in 2021 Presidential and general elections.
In response, Ms Chibomba said, “I have been directed by the Hon. President of the constitutional court to respond to your letter. The response of the court is that court does not interpret the law or legal issues through letters or correspondence. The Court pronounces itself on any legal issue that is brought before it, by means of any of the prescribed modes of moving the court, through judgements.”
As regards the judgement that you have made reference to in your letter, she said, kindly be advised that the same was delivered by the court and it can be easily accessed as it is in public domain. I can only urge you to read it.
By SIMON MUNTEMBA