By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
THE STATE has submitted to the Constitutional Court that it is not obligated to publish the statutory declaration of Presidential candidates’ assets and liabilities.
In this matter, PeP president Sean Tembo in his petition contends that the failure by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and the State to publish statutory declaration of Presidential candidates’ assets and liabilities in the August 12 general elections contravenes the constitution and is illegal.
Mr Tembo wants the statutory declaration of assets and liabilities for President Hakainde Hichilema as filed in the 2021 general election nomination process.
He has cited article 52(3) of the constitution of Zambia, Section 30 (1) (c) of the Electoral Process Act No.35 of 2016 and Regulations 11 (6) and 20 (2) of the Electoral Process (General) regulations of 2016 which he says the respondents allegedly breached.
According to article 52 (3) of the Constitution, the information contained in a nomination paper and affidavit shall be published by the Commission as prescribed.
But the State in its answer has urged the Court not to grant Mr Tembo the reliefs he is seeking arguing that it has not in any way breached the constitution.
“The provisions of Article 52(3) of the constitution section 30(1)(c) of the Electoral Process Act no. 35 of 2016 and Regulations 20(2) of the Electoral Process (General) Regulations, 216 does not place a mandatory responsibility on the Attorney General to publish the presidential candidates’ statutory declaration of assets and liabilities and therefore not in breach of the Constitution,” the State submitted.