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LUNGU ELIGIBLE

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu is eligible to stand, the Constitutional Court has ruled again.

The court has reiterated that the time  he served following the death of his predecessor Mr Michael Sata could not be considered a full term and that he was serving his first term after his victory in the 2016 polls , thereafter he is eligible.

The bench of judges included ConCourt president Hilda Chibomba, Annie Sitali, Mungeni Mulenga, Palan Mulonda, Patricia Munalula, Martin Musaluke and Judy Mulongoti, made the determination yesterday when dismissed the matter in which Katuba Parliamentarian Bampi Kapalasa and civil activist Joseph Busenga wanted it to clearly interpret Article 106 in relation to President Lungu’s eligibility to contest the August 12, 2021 elections.

“We have considered the motion by the respondent (Attorney General)  and finds merit in the motion as it relates to Article 106,” ruled.

The Court has set this Friday for rending of a full judgement in the matter.

However, Mr Busenga’s petition to have the court clearly interpret article 70 on whether an MP serving a sentence of imprisonment can continue in office survived with the matter scheduled for hearing before a single judge.

In the case of Dr Danny Pule and others, the ConCourt ruled that President Lungu was eligible to contest the forth-coming elections

Attorney General Likando Kalaluka has submitted that the issue of President Lungu’s eligibility to contest the August 12, 2021 elections has already been adjudicated upon by the ConCourt.

Mr Kalaluka stated that the ConCourt adjudicated upon it under the case of Dr Daniel Pule, Mr Wright Musoma, Pastor Peter Chanda and Mr Robert Mwanza vs. Attorney General, PF Secretary General Davies Mwila, the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and then UPND Secretary General Steven Katuka selected judgement no. 60 of 2019.

The State therefore asked the Court to dismiss or set aside the originating summons by Mr Kapalasa and Mr Busenga .

Mr Kapalasa and Mr Busenga appeared without a lawyer and could barely argue the matter and requested for more time to retain a lawyer to represent them.

Mr Busenga stated that he had no legal expertise to argue the matter and therefore needed time to appoint a counsel well vested with constitutional issues.

Mr Kapalasa argued that the matter was about the Constitution, therefore it would have repercussions if it was thrown out.

After the ruling Mr Kapalasa said he was disappointed with the outcome of the case and the court should have given them time to find lawyers to argue it.

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