State ordered to resubmit petition documents


THE Constitutional Court has asked Attorney General Likando Kalaluka to resubmit an application from the Registrar of the Constitutional Court over the lack of space at the judiciary if the ex-parte order filed by the United Party for National Development (UPND) for the preservation of elections material including ballot papers, boxes and record forms was to be granted.

Constitutional Court Justice Annie Sitali made the ruling yesterday after the petitioner argued that the affidavit filed by Constitutional Court registrar Kelvin Limbani must be dismissed as it implied biasness of the court to respond to itself.

The court has since requested the Attorney General to amend the submissions and allow another officer to file the affidavit.

This was during the hearing of the petition against the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s (ECZ) declaration of PF presidential candidate Edgar Lungu as the first round winner of the 2016 general elections with 50.35 percent of the total votes cast.

UPND president Hakainde Hichilema together with his running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mamba have petitioned the Constitutional Court, alleging irregularities in the process leading to the elections, including vote counting, among others.

Meanwhile, Mr Hakainde’s lawyers have applauded progress so far made in the petition, hoping that the proceedings would be concluded within the stipulated 14 days in accordance with the provisions of the Republican Constitution.

The lawyers, speaking to the media camped outside the court premises, said they were satisfied with the court’s authority over the entire process, expressing confidence in the conclusion of the matter before the stipulated 14-day period elapsed.

“The court is on top of things and we are making great progress so far. With the current progress, we should be concluding the matter even before the 14 days elapse,” the lawyer said.

And the Constitutional Court has stopped its officials from releasing information to members of the media on the proceedings of the presidential petition despite the matter being in public interest.

All court documents were strictly being guarded with heavy police presence restricting the flow of information from the chambers to the public, who were the major stakeholders in the petition.

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