Right from the outset, we have keenly observed the tone of the proponents of the eligibility debate and the emanating resubmitted petition. It had more of the political overtone than the legal issues that were disguised.
From 2018 to 2021, we did our level best to belabour to engage the opponents of President Lungu’s candidature but the issue is void and we cannot substitute our energy for productive debate. Had they listened, they would not have wasted time and resources to embark on a wild goose chase.
It was clear that a discerning mind could appreciate the cases of Dan Pule and Bampi Kapalasa that President Lungu’s search for a second term mandate was nowhere near the breach of the constitution.
With all the due respect to his Seniority at the bar coupled with experience in Constitutional law jurisprudence, we were unmoved by State Counsel John Sangwa’s petition as it his petition as being void of any legal substance. It was a mere politicking sugarcoated with a borrowed accent and legalese.
We are made to suggest that the petitioners had intended to give ECL unfair disadvantage over their preferred candidate. It was meant to derail the PF campaigns whilst other candidates continued to campaign since their campaigns were apparently unencumbered.
President Lungu is eligible and he is a candidate and this is a reality his opponents should live with.
We are told the UPND supporters in particular are accusing the bench of violating the constitution after the judgement was passed when it was discharging its Constitutional duties. It is clear that the independence of the institutions of government is threatened with the UPND in power.
We are also encouraged with the exemplary approach that President Lungu demonstrated during the hearing of the petition against him. Although he has Executive power, he allowed the due process of the law to take its course and the judiciary was given utmost independence.
Even when it was tempting for PF supporters to show their leader moral support, there was not even a single day they turned up at court. This is a sharp contrast with other political leaders who urge their supporters to flock court premises in huge numbers disregarding the laid down public health measures.
Now that the eligibility case is a settled issue, we urge the opposition to wage issue based political approach. They were scared to meet President Lungu on the ballot but they will now face him.
Marvin Chanda Mberi