Constitutional court petitioned to stop referendum

A Lusaka resident has petitioned the Constitutional Court of Zambia to stop the referendum just two days before elections.
Fresher Siwale of Plot 531 Mbawa Avenue in Chelstone, Lusaka, claims that the procedure was not followed in coming up with the referendum to amend article 79 of the Constitution of Zambia. In an affidavit filed in by his Lawyers of AKM Legal Practitioners, Mr. Siwale says President Edgar Lungu erred in using a statutory instrument to push for a referendum.
According to documents seen by the Zambian Watchdog, Siwale says a Bill was supposed to be presented to parliament for first reading but before that, a referendum was supposed to be held to amend the referendum Act. Mr. Siwale says citizens where supposed to vote on a bill during the referendum and not simply a question.
Further the petition claims that the same question that has been put across for people to vote on was supposed to be tabled in parliament. He argues that section 79 of the Zambian constitution says ” A bill for the alteration of part 3 of this constitution or of this article shall not be passed unless before the first reading of the bill in the national assembly it has been put to a national referendum with or without amendment by not less than fifty percent of persons entitled to be registered as voters for the purposes of presidential and parliamentary elections.
Mr Siwale has cited the Attorney General as First Respondent and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) as second respondent.
He is being represented by Willies Muhanga of AKM Legal Practitioners.

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