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Tension as pro-UPND, PF supporters clash in court over 2026 presidential election (Video)


At the High Court on Wednesday, individuals suspected to be University of Zambia students arrived wearing black T-shirts and chanting ‘No third term! No to corruption!’

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The protest was in response to a petition filed by Lusaka youth activist, Michelo Chizombe, urging the Constitutional Court to declare former President Edgar Lungu ineligible for future elections.

Read more:Legal battle over ex-President Lungu’s eligibility for 2026 elections rages. Here’s what we know so far

Zambia Monitor reports that tension arose when a Patriotic Front (PF) member, Peter Kashala, known as Peter ‘ma chain’, was detained by police for allegedly assaulting a female individual who claimed to be a student.

The incident elicited anger among other supposed students present from the University of Zambia, Evelyn Hone College, and Levy Mwanawasa Medical University demanded justice for the assaulted individual and attempted to enter the tightly manned court premises.

Defiantly, the students challenged the police officers, daring them to unlock their AK-47 rifles, asserting their intellectual identity and refusal to be ruled by cadres.

Teargas and blank shots were fired by the officers to disperse the crowd, eventually leading to a dialogue between the officers and the apparent leaders of the student group.

The students had gathered in solidarity with the petitioner, National Council of Student Unions chairperson, Chizombe, who seeks a declaration that Lungu was ineligible to contest the 2021 presidential election as per the current Constitution, along with the now repealed 1991 Constitution (as amended).

Chizombe also cited the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for breaching the Republican constitution by accepting Lungu’s nomination papers and including him on the ballot.

The Attorney-General supported the petition, arguing that the Constitutional Court had the authority to overturn its own decisions.

Lungu, represented by Makebi Zulu Advocates, raised preliminary objections, arguing that the matter had been adjudicated upon thrice and reversing the decision could compromise the court’s integrity.

Accompanied by PF party members and other opposition leaders, Lungu appeared before an 11-member panel of judges, including Professor Margaret Munalula, Arnold Shilimi, Annie Sitali, Mungeni Mulenga, and Palan Mulonda.

The motion, however, could not proceed as important documents such as the petition were missing from the record, and some judges found it difficult to read due to font size issues.

Consequently, the matter was adjourned to the June session to allow Makebi Zulu Advocates to address the noted deficiencies.

Outside the court, Lungu engaged in a brief exchange with PF members, including Brian Mundubile, jesting about his eligibility and the implications for the 2021 elections.

“if I was not eligible in 2021, what happens,” Lungu questioned.

In response to the altercation, Titus Musonda Chisha, said to be a student at UNZA cautioned that political cadres should refrain from involvement in matters of sensitive national importance.

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“For me, the scenario that has evolved here is that issues that concern national interest, like this one, I do not expect cadres to be here fighting students. We are coming from a university where as a student we are concerned with such issues and we do not expect cadres to come to a place like this without any understanding.

“They are fighting students because they do not understand what is happening here, that is why they are causing commotion. I can confirm that one of our students was beaten by cadres. What we are doing is sending a message to politicians that when we are having such cases, please do not bring cadres here, bring people that understand such issues,” Chisha said.

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