ROBERT Sichinga

By Daily Revelation Reporters

Former commerce minister Bob Sichinga says those who plan to challenge President Edgar Lungu’s nomination will go ahead despite the ruling from the Constitutional Court that his first term as President was not a full term.

And a Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) official who declared anonymity said what the Concourt declared was about interpreting a term and not whether President Lungu was eligible having twice held office.

Speaking with Daily Revelation, Sichinga said the ruling from the Concourt was about presumption, saying they should tell the Zambian people what term of office President Lungu will be serving if he were re-elected in August 2021.

He said Zambians must demand accountability from the Concourt not to misdirect themselves, saying they did not have the spine like their friends in Kenya and Malawi.

“In the unlikely event that Lungu is re-elected as President, what term is he going to be serving? If they allow him to file, what term is he going to be serving? It will mean that he will be in office for 12 years. It’s deliberate because they want him,” Sichinga said. “All those judges they are declaring themselves totally irrelevant to the system of governance. They shouldn’t think of what is in it for their jobs but the good of the nation.”

And a LAZ official said people were simplifying the issue of the President’s eligibility, saying it was only the returning officer who could declare ones eligibility to stand for public office.

“The returning officer will have a checklist and if you don’t fulfill any of those boxes he’s going to give you back the papers that you are not eligible. So it’s a process. For instance there has been a clause in the ECZ regulations that to file in you should not have twice been elected to office, which they removed but which John Sangwa has taken before the courts,” the source said. “Then there are other issues to do with whether one has paid taxes, or if they even have a Grade 12 certificate. There are many issues and ECZ usually publishes those once candidates have filed in, so you can countercheck and if you notice there is something glaringly missing about one candidate you can take the matter to court.”

The legal practitioner said there was no difference with regards the submission by Danny Pule and Bampi, saying their submissions dealt with the issue of interpreting a term and not whether one had twice held office.

“That interpretation was already resolved. The court never said that President Lungu is eligible. Nobody is talking about the term of office, but whether one has held office twice,” said the legal practitioner.

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