No Presidential election petitioners stay put

Petitioners demanding that President Lungu should be allowed to serve a five year term have vowed to proceed with their action in spite of criticism.

The petitioners told the Daily Nation yesterday that they will not be forced to withdraw because they had the full backing of the Zambian people who had appreciated what they had done.

The trio have petitioned the the High Court to establish the legality of holding elections next year when President Lungu will have only served for less than five years- which is the Presidential term mandate.

Simemeza Syachoke, who is one of the petitioners, said no amount of threats and intimidation from anyone will compel them to withdraw the petition from the High Court.

Mr. Syachoke said if the trio did not understand the constitution, they would have consulted other people, but since they understood the provisions of the law, they did not need to consult anyone.

“We did not consult anyone, not even the President because we understand the law. If we did not understand the law, we would have consulted. We are convinced that we are acting within the provisions of the law and for those who do not agree with what we have done, let them come and challenge us as respondents to this case,” he said.

He said those who were threatening violence were just hungry and wanted to go to State House at any  cost even if it meant abrogating the constitutional provisions to suit their own egos.

Mr Syachoke explained that more people asked to be joined to the petition because they understood that what the three had done was in the best interest of most Zambians who may not understand the provisions of the law.

Last week, Mr Richard Mumba, Mr Syachoke, and Wright Musoma filed a petition in the Lusaka High Court seeking an order that the Electoral Commission of Zambian (ECZ) should not hold presidential elections in 2016. They have argued that the ECZ should be stopped from holding presidential elections because the tenure of President Edgar Lungu is still subsisting as he was elected in January 2015, and that his five year mandate will only expire in 2020.