Petition about my eligibility to contest elections is incompetently before Court – Lungu
FOMER president Edgar Lungu has asked the Constitutional Court to dismiss a petition by youth activist Michelo Chizombe questioning his eligibility to contest the 2021 general elections and future presidential elections.
Lungu says the ConCourt’s mandate on the issue came to an end when put his eligibility debate to rest in three different petitions that were before it prior the last poll therefore it cannot determine the matter as it is functus officio.
Chizombe is questioning Lungu’s eligibility to contest in the 2021 general election and future elections after being sworn into the office of President twice
He wants the Court to declare that Lungu’s participation in the previous election was unconstitutional.
Chizombe who has cited Lungu, the Electoral Commission of Zambia and the Attorney General as respondents in the matter indicated that Lungu contravened the constitution when he participated in the August 12, 2021 general elections.
However Lungu has filed a motion for a determination of four questions of law arising from the matter.
He wants the Court to determine whether a fresh action brought before Court is Res judicata (already decided upon) when the Court had previously pronounced itself three times on the same matter in the case of Dan Pule and others Bampi Kapalasa and Joseph Busenga and the Legal Resources Foundation Limited and two others.
The former Head of State wants the Court to decree whether the petition can be deemed an abuse of court process, considering that the arguments presented in the petition could have been reasonably raised at an earlier stage within the legal proceedings.
“Thirdly, it is the question of whether this court lacks jurisdiction as it is functus officio, having already made a pronouncement on the matter in the cases mentioned above,” the notice read.
“Lastly, it is the question of whether the petition seeking to challenge the eligibility of the first respondent falls outside the parameters outlined in Article 101(4)(a) and (b) of the constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act no. 2 of 2016 which delineates a specific process and timeline for challenging the validity of elections and candidacy, thereby raising the question of the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the petition after the prescribed period has lapsed.”
Lungu indicated that he will request to dismiss the petition in its entirety with costs as the case is incompetently before Court owing to the irregularities he has spelled out.
By Mwaka Ndawa