PF officials are boasting that they have managed to compromise another Constitutional Court judge, Justice Annie Mwewa – Sitali.
The PF is now saying with Judge Annie Mwewa on their pay roll, they want Justice Enoch Mulembe to be removed from the Constitutional Court so that they can remain with compromised judges only. The government and PF machinery is already in motion against judge Mulembe.
Frank Bwalya was heard telling friends that he was shocked that Judge Annie Mwewa did not read out the judgment in favour of PF as she promised to on Wednesday night during a clandestine meeting.
According to PF officials, Justice Annie Mwewa was given money last night and agreed to throw out 53 grounds of the presidential petition today (Thursday). So when the court went into session in the morning, the PF were expecting nothing but a favorable ruling from the judge.
The PF were so sure that Justice Annie Mwewa Sitali would read out the judgment written by Erick Silwamba that they rushed to ZNBC to broadcast the ‘news’. Unknown to them, when Judge Mwewa was about to start reading the judgment, lawyers for the petitioners asked how she could reach a ruling without hearing their side. The lawyers requested for time to study the preliminary issues from the PF lawyers and the judge agreed to adjourn to Friday. So no ruling was made. Meantime, Frank Bwalya had already authorized ZNBC to air the ‘news’ and indeed ZNBC excitedly read news that ‘UPND petition suffers set back’.
Why does the PF want the 53 grounds removed? Simple: those are some of the strongest points parts of the petition. By trialising them and bringing them as ‘preliminary issues’, they can be heard by one compromised judge and therefore be removed from the petition without other judges hearing them.
One of the matters the PF lawyers are shockingly arguing is that the constitutional court has no jurisdiction (powers) to hear some portions of the petition. The truth is that when it comes to constitutional matters, this court has unlimited jurisdiction and only it has the final say. The Supreme Court has no jurisdiction on such matters. So how can a normal lawyer stand in court and say that the Constitutional Court has no jurisdiction on some sections of the constitution?
BELOW ARE THE LIES BROADCAST BY ZNBC. THEY WILL BE SHAMELSSLY REPEATED IN TIMES AND DAILY MAIL TOMORROW:
The Constitutional Court has thrown 53 of the 80 grounds of the case following preliminary motion raised by President Edgar Lungu’s lawyers on Wednesday, that requested that the grounds of the Petition were irregular and were outside the Jurisdiction pursuant to the provisions of Article 128 and Act no 8 of the 2016 Constitutional.
The lawyers also demanded that the Petition be dismissed as it was filed under wrong articles of the Constitution.
The ConCourt struck out from the record 53 portions of the Petition for want of jurisdiction and for being irregular.
Earlier, President Lungu requested the Constitutional Court to dismiss Hakainde Hichilema’s electoral petition for lack of evidence and merit.
In papers filed by his lawyers as preliminary issues, President Lungu had requested that the Petition be dismissed for relying on wrong articles of the Constitution and for lacking merit.
The lawyers have also requested the Court to remove from the records various portions from the UPND petition which they contend were wrongly and irregularly included in the Petition.
These irregularities range from matters filed, but are deemed to be above or are outside the jurisdiction of the Concourt, to petitioning under a wrong article 103 instead of 101.