Power and Politics

Court reserves July 8 for ruling on Lungu’s eligibility for elections, as govt lawyers oppose dismissal of case


The State has requested the Constitutional Court not to dismiss the petition challenging the eligibility of former President Edgar Lungu to stand for future elections.

Represented by Attorney-General, Mulilo Kabesha, Solicitor-General, Marshal Muchende, and other advocates, the State argued that the petition filed by Lusaka resident Michelo Chizombe had not been finalised, contrary to Lungu’s claims.

The State, which also seeks a review of an earlier decision declaring Lungu eligible, contends that the matter was neither finalised nor time-barred and therefore, the petition should be heard on its merits.

However, Lungu’s legal team, consisting of Makebi Zulu and Jonas Zimba, questioned the motive behind the repeated petitions, urging the court to end what they described as an abuse of process.

Read More: Ex-President Lungu asks court to dismiss suit challenging his eligibility to contest future elections

They argued that Lungu should not be repeatedly summoned to court over the same eligibility issue, noting this marks the fifth time the issue had been brought before the court.

“A judicial decision must be accepted as correct. They have refused to accept your decision, meaning they had recourse to the decision and simply do not agree with you. If this is allowed, there will be no end to litigation,” Makebi argued.

Chizombe’s counsel, Michael Moono, countered that the issue could not be res judicata as the petitioner was not a party to the four previous petitions.

The court has reserved its ruling on the matter until July 8, 2024.

Meanwhile, Lungu received strong support from hundreds of United Kwacha Alliance (UKA) supporters, including alliance party leaders, who turned up at the Supreme Court.

Throughout the three-hour-long session, the supporters sang songs of solidarity under the watchful eye of armed police officers.

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