By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
THE Constitutional Court has warned that it is the final arbiter in matters to do with the interpretation of the constitutional provisions, therefore it is not open for parties with contrary personal opinions to re-litigate a settled matter to get their desirable outcome.
It said in its ruling that the matter where former UPND Katuba Member of Parliament Bampi Kapalasa and civil activist Joseph Busenga were questioning President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility to contest General elections is an abuse of Court Process.
This is according to its full ruling made on May 18, 2021 by a full bench of Judges which consisted of ConCourt President Hilda Chibomba, Anna Sitali, Mungeni Mulenga, Palan Mulonda, Professor Patricia Munalula, Martin Musaluke and Judith Mulongoti.
The Court in its abridged ruling dismissed the case for lack of merit.
Delivering ruling, Ms Justice Mulenga said Mr Kapalasa and Mr Busenga were seeking the court’s interpretation of article 106 (1), (3) and (6) regarding what they termed as third term was already dealt with in the case of Dr Daniel Pule.
“It is therefore inconceivable that the applicants could not comprehend what we stated in clear terms in the Dr Daniel Pules’ case that the term that spanned a period from 25th January, 2015 to 13th September, 2016 did not constitute a term for the purposes of article 106 (3) as read with article 106 (1) and (6) (b),” it said.
The court has strongly discouraged the trend by some individuals with the intention of re-litigating a settled matter that it is the final arbiter. “Whether or not a party has its own grievance or contrary view or understanding of the constitutional provision in issue, what matters is this court’s interpretation which is final and binds the parties and the public at large. The underlying public interest is that there must be finality of litigation,” the court said