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ECZ DID NOT VIOLATE CONSTITUTION – ECZ

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has submitted that it did not violate the constitution by validating the nomination of President Edgar Lungu for the August 12, 2021 general elections.

This is a matter where Lusaka lawyer Michael Mutwena has petitioned the Constitutional Court over Mr Lungu’s eligibility claiming that it is illegal and unconstitutional for ECZ to accept his nomination for Presidency when he has twice held office of President.

Mr Mutwena wants a declaration that Mr Lungu is constitutionally prohibited from taking part in presidential elections as a presidential candidate by article 106 (3) of constitution because he has twice held office of President and therefore the decision of the returning Officer to accept the nomination papers of the Head of State is illegal, unconstitutional and ultra vires the said article 206 (3), hence null and void.

He wants the court to order ECZ to allow the Patriotic Front to file nomination of a different candidate. ECZ is the respondent in the matter.

Conversely, ECZ Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshindano stated that neither the petition nor the affidavit verifying facts discloses any alleged violation of the constitution by the Commission as alleged.

Mr Nshindano also stated that the issue of eligibility has already being dealt with in the case of Daniel Pule and others and also Bampi Kapalasa and Joseph Busenga.

“ In the premises it is our humble plea this honourable court  should exercise its powers under order 18 Rule 19 (1) (d) to dismiss this action for abuse of the process of the court, as the Petitioner herein seeks to relitigate issues that have already been determined by this court. It is our prayer that ,on the strength of the facts and authorities cited above, the matter be strike out and dismissed with costs.

Meanwhile,  lawyer  Lewis Mosho has withdrawn the matter where he sued the Petitioners who are asking the Constitutional Court to declare President Edgar Lungu’s nomination for 2021 elections null and void as he has allegedly  held office twice.

Mr Mosho in his petition asked the Constitutional Court to dismiss the consolidated petition by Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa, Legal Resources Foundation Limited because it is unconstitutional to sue a Head of State in any civil or criminal matter.

And therefore, the petitions contravenes with article 98 (1) of the constitution of Zambia which prohibits any person from instituting civil or criminal proceedings against the President.

Dr Sishuwa, LRF and Chapter One Foundation have been cited as the first, second and third respondents in the petition.

But Mr Mosho yesterday notified the court that he was discontinuing the matter.

“That I am no longer desirous to prosecute this matter and wish to serve this court’s time as this issue raised in the petition can best be resolved under cause number 2021/CCZ/0025 and 2021/CCZ/0027 as consolidated,” he said.

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