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LUNGU’S ELIGIBILITY PETITIONER WAS NOT FORCED TO LITIGATE, SAYS AG

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

ATTORNEY General Likando Kalaluka has argued that civil activist Joseph Busenga was not forced to further prosecute the case where he was questioning President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility for 2021 general elections but that the Constitutional Court merely exercised its discretion to avoid discontinuance in the matter.

Mr Kalaluka said this in response to Mr Busenga’s petition filed in the Lusaka High Court that he was forced to litigate the matter against his will which was a violation of his fundamental rights.

“That by not allowing discontinuance of the matter, the Constitutional Court did not violate articles 11,18 and 19 as read with article 8 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia contrary to the petitioners assertion of the petition.

“That article 11 merely guarantees fundamental rights in general terms but the petitioner has not shown which of the rights therein has been violated by the Constitutional Court when it disallowed discontinuance of the matter under order X rule 3 of the Constitutional Court rules,” he submitted.

Mr Kalaluka stated that Mr Busenga has cited articles 18 and 19 of the constitution out of context to assert that the two articles had been breached by the Constitutional court.

He submitted that the petitioner was not entitled to the reliefs prayed for.

The State has raised a preliminary issue on whether or not the High Court has jurisdiction to question, review or hear a matter that has already been pronounced upon by the ConCourt.

In this matter, Mr Busenga is seeking an order that the Attorney General compelling him to litigate a matter against his will, violates his right to his freedom of conscience as guaranteed in accordance with the provisions of article 19 of the constitution.

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