By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) insists that the Constitutional Court dismisses the petition in which Radical Revolutionary Party president Vincent Chaile is challenging the nomination fees for Presidential candidates as it is wrongly before it.
Mr Chaile has petitioned the court seeking a declaration that the nomination fees for the forthcoming General elections announced by ECZ are null and void.
He also wants an injunction restraining ECZ from proceeding with the holding of the general elections set for August 12 until the final determination of the matter.
Mr Chaile argued that the high nomination fees proposed by ECZ are overwhelming obstacles, prohibitive and only meant to deter the poor people from freely participating in the leadership of the country.
He stated that the petition falls within the jurisdiction of the court as Article 128(1) of the Constitution Amendment Act No.2 of 2016 which gives the Constitutional Court authority to hear a matter relating to the interpretation and contravention of the constitution.
ECZ in its reply to skeleton arguments in support of affidavit in opposition to summons to strike out the petition and dismiss the action stated that Mr Chaile has misconceived Article 28 of the constitution by contending that the provisions of Articles 11 to 26 inclusive may be determined by any other court apart from the High Court.
“We humbly submit that the honourable court should not entertain the petitioners’ position that this honourable court should proceed to interpret articles 45(1)(a) , (C) and (2) (a) . We submit that if it was the intention of the petitioner to seek the court’s interpretation of the said provision the petitioner ought to have commenced the matter under order IV Rule 2 (2) of the constitutional Court Rule SI no.37 of 2016 which provides that “A matter relating to the interpretation of the constitution shall be commenced by originating summons,” ECZ submitted.
It also submitted that if Mr Chaile’s intention was to challenge the powers of ECZ’s mandatory powers to determine nomination fees, he would have commenced such a matter in the High Court under judicial review.
“In conclusion we reiterate our prayer that the petition herein be struck out and the action be dismissed with costs,” ECZ stated.