Lusaka High Court Setting Precedent

Malanji And Lusambo


By Isaac Mwanza

THE Lusaka High Court has impressed me with the manner they have taken their Judicial functions seriously as an electoral court. Equally, the sense of urgency and justice that was done by the Constitutional Court must be recognised. I think our courts can beat the standards the Kenyan Courts have set on the continent.

Let me borrow the words from the decision of the Supreme Court of Zambia in 2015 when the PF regime attempted to block Dora Siliya and 2 others in the same manner Bowman Lusambo and Joseph Malanji want to be blocked, where the Court stated:

“Contesting a parliamentary election and voting are constitutional rights which should not be easily taken away from a person.”

While the Courts took so long, depriving the people of Petauke from having representation, to make a just decision in this matter, the Court demonstrated extraordinary boldness and courage to dispense justice.

It has become a pattern at every point when there is regime change for excited people working with the new leadership to try and impress the President by annihilating competitors from the Electoral race. MMD did it to KK to an extent of trying to change the law. The Court, albeit late, made a decision KK was eligible to contest.

Dora Siliya and her colleagues went same path at the hands of PF. ECZ was also used in that scheme and tried to prevent Siliya and company. It didn’t work because the courts protected their right to participate.

We back to the same scenario. I heard the submissions of ECZ in court today. So did I hear about the petitioners and the Attorney General Chambers. I will comment in detail about these after the Court delivers the verdict, including on how some lawyers use language that want to intimidate the courts.

My comment however is that our court system, under very intense pressure under the MMD and PF regime showed they had capacity to protect the law. It can be costly as the judges usually don’t get in good books against those they rule against but that is the nature of their job. The Judges are not their to impress anyone.

I hope politicians will learn from what happened in the Kaunda case that went so far to change the law, which the Court said had no effect on Dr Kaunda, from manner Dora Siliya and his friends were almost barred but justice prevailed. In all these cases, I came to discover Presidents are usually innocent and may want to play clean game but it’s those around them that seek praises from Presidents who acted wrongly and misleadingly.

Politicians, learn, learn, learn!


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