Court postpones ruling in Dora case

The Supreme Court yesterday postponed judgment in a case in which the government seeks to block Dora Siliya, Maxwell Mwale and Hastings Sililo from contesting in the forthcoming by-elections.

Attorney General Mumba Malil appealed against the decision by the High Court to allow Siliya, Mwale and Sililo participate in the by-elections which were slated for September 5.

During the inter-party hearing held in chambers on the matter yesterday, Siliya, Mwale and Sililo argued that if the matter of blocking them from participating in the by-elections was prolonged, it would create a constitutional crisis as the constitution provided that bye-elections be held within 90 days.

Siliya, Mwale and Sililo through their lawyers argued that, if the matter is further prolonged, there would be a constitution crisis as the constitution provided for 90 days in which to hold by-elections.

The lawyers also argued that the appeal by the State was improper as the Attorney General had no loci standi in the matter.

The lawyers further questioning the interest of the office of the Attorney General.

However, the state being represented by Solicitor General Musa Mwenye in his response argued that the 90 days period provided for in the Constitution did not apply in the case at hand because the bye-elections were necessitated by nullification.

The State also contended that the Attorney General was the custodian of all public interest matters and therefore he was competently and entitled to appeal even when the ECZ did not appeal against the High Court decision.

High Court judge Mulenga ordered the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to allow MMD’s Siliya and UPND’s Mwale and Sililo to contest the by-election.

The Judge also ordered ECZ to accept the nominations of the three former members of parliament.