By PETER SICHALI
THE Constitutional court applied a valid, logical and sound formulation in determining that the 17 months President Lungu served to complete President Michael Sata’s five year tenure did not constitute a Presidential term to disqualify him from seeking a second term, in the same way that the newly installed Tanzanian President will be precluded from two terms on account of swerving more than three years to finish off late John Maguduli’s second term, Lusaka Lawyer Jonas Zimba has said.
Mr Zimba said the Tanzanian constitution provides that a President who serves the remaining term of an incumbent could only be disqualified if he served for more than three years.
He said the constitution court in the Dan Pule and others case on President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility adequately interpreted the law in the same way that the Tanzanian constitution envisaged.
“The Constitutional Court was on firm grounds in the case of Dan Pule and others in the eligibility case,” Mr Zimba said.
He said in as much as the Tanzanian constitution provisions are not the same as that of the Zambian provisions the effects were the same.
“What is in the Tanzanian constitution is similar to the Zambian provisions the effects were the same,” he said.
Mr Zimba said like President Lungu did not serve a full term because he served less than three years which does not constitute a term while in the Tanzanian case, Ms Hassan would serve a term because she has more than 4 years to serve, which automatically is above the three year threshold.
He said it was unfortunate Lusaka Lawyer John Sangwa had continued to mislead the public over the eligibility case when the constitutional court had adquately addressed the matter.
Mr Zimba said it was not wise to start quarrelling with the court because there was an avenue for challenging its decision.
He said the constitutional court as a final court already pronounced itself on the matter and therefore the debate was unnecessary.
“Beginning to quarrel with the decision of the court is contemptuous because there is an avenue to challenge that, the position as it is, is that the constitutional court as the final court pronounced itself,” Mr Zimba said.
Mr Zimba said the concourt stated that the current president has not served two terms.
He said it was not necessary for the court to address whether he is eligible or not because it had already ruled that he had not served two terms.
“The position of the court is very clear on the matter and those quarrelling with the court are committing an offence,” Mr Zimba said.
Mr Zimba said people planning to challenge President Edgar Lungu’s nomination risk being cited for contempt of court.
He said the court’s interpretation of what constitutes a term and whether or not President Lungu was eligible to contest this year’s elections had already been dealt with.
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