There are five Constitutional Court Judges, two are proven PF cadres. We do not know the political persuasions of the other three.
Depending on how the constitutional court handles the petition, there can be confusion in the country. People are quiet now because they have confidence in the courts and want to give to courts a chance to decide the matter professionally and without any form of bias; actual, imputed or apparent. The presidential petition is a very serious and sensitive matter whose final outcome the country is waiting for anxiously. It will be very stupid for the Constitutional Court to handle this matter as though they are dealing with a case of poultry theft. This matter affects every one and everything in Zambia and will have lasting consequences on the governance, political stability and economic welfare of the country.
The opposition have decided to go to court instead of picking arms because clearly they are looking for a civilized way to have their grievances addressed.
We are so far surprised that the constitutional court is not giving this matter the seriousness it deserves. It is true that when dealing with preliminary matters, one judge can determine that preliminary issue. But what if, as in this case, that preliminary issue is so critical that it goes to the root of the petition itself? Should one judge who have proven connections to the other party be allowed to handle that ‘preliminary’ issue?
What are UPND lawyers doing, are they afraid to speak out in court? The fact that a preliminary issue may be heard by one judge does not meant that it can not be heard by three or more judges. It is up to the UPND judges to demand that more judges should hear a matter that is very important.
Why, for example should one PF cadre be allowed to decide when the 14 days in which the petitioned should be heard expire? Is this not negligence on the part of the UPND lawyers or the Constitutional Court itself? How can such an important matter be decided by one judge when it will affect the whole petition? And why are all the preliminary issues being heard by one particular judge? What are the other judges doing?