John Sangwa suffers major setback in his case against ECZ

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John Sangwa

The Constitutional Court has dismissed Lusaka Lawyer, John Sangwa’s petition.

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Lusaka Lawyer John Sangwa had raised a preliminary petition to compel the Electoral Commission of Zambia to amend the affidavit sworn by aspiring presidential candidates.

Sangwa had argued that the new version of Affidavit for Presidential Candidates/Running Mate had omitted or neglected to include the requirement of Article 106(3) which allegedly compels respondents to swear that; “I have not twice held office as President“.

Sangwa petitioned the court, seeking an order that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) be commanded to amend the Presidential candidate/Running Mate affidavit.

He argued that the affidavit in its current version does not meet the requirement of Article 52 of the Constitution.

Sangwa was challenging Statutory Instrument No 63 of 2016 which was published in the Gazette on August 12, 2016.

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But the Attorney General Likando Kalaluka said that there was no need for any amendment to the Presidential Candidate/Running Mate affidavit, in his answer to a petition filed by Constitutional lawyer John Sangwa.

Mr. Likando stated that Sangwa’s prayer for amendment of the affidavit does not take into account Article 106 (6) of the Constitution and the Constitutional Court’s pronouncements in the case of Dr Dan Pule and Others vs the Attorney General, Davies Mwila (PF Secretary-General), the Law Association of Zambia and Stephen Katuka (UPND) and Bampi Kapalasa and Joseph Busenga Vs the Attorney General cases in which President Edgar Lungu was declared eligible to contest the August 12 General Elections.

Kalaluka argued that Sangwa’s petition seeks to grant the court jurisdiction to draft legislation which jurisdiction directly flies in the teeth of Article 62, 128, and 177 of the Constitution.

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“Accordingly, this court has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition,” he stated. “It is not a mandatory requirement to include the provisions of Article 106(3) of the Constitution of Zambia in the affidavit for Presidential Candidate/Running Mate Form No, Gen 4 as the said Article 106 (3) relates to the tenure of Office of President which is not provided for under Article 100 of the Constitution.”

Mr. Kalaluka in the alternative has argued that the part on the affidavit which states that: “I qualify for nomination as a Presidential Candidate and the disqualifications in Article 100 (2) do not apply to me” confirms that all the Constitutional requirements relating to the nomination of a Presidential Candidate have been met.

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“In the premises, there is no need for any amendment thereof,” he said.

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