UPND tells supporters to remain strong

UPND tells supporters to remain strong



We wish to remind all our members across the country to remain strong as we confer with our legal team on the next step to be taken.

We know that this is a difficult time for all of you. But we wish to put it on record that we have not lost an election, neither have we lost the petition which was before the constitutional court.

In view of the foregoing, we have decided take necessary measures to see to it that justice prevails as we believe that justice should not only be done but it must be seen to be done. It is important for us to point out that the constitutional court’s inconsistencies in presiding over the presidential petition have created a constitutional crisis which has brought us to where we are. Remember that one single Judge ,in the name of Judge Anne Mwewa Sitali , who initially gave direction that the hearing of the main presidential petition was supposed to have commenced on Friday 2nd September 2016 and run up to 8th September 2016.

Surprisingly, Judge Sitali rescinded her decision on thursday 1st September 2016 upon hearing an oral submission by the respondents on the computation of time (14 days).The judge’s decision created confusion in that she contradicted her earlier direction to have the main petition heard starting on friday 2nd September 2016.

Note also that a single Judge threw out six of the applications we filed for further witnesses, and to make amendments to the main petition. We also filed in an application to have president Edgar Lungu step aside and allow the speaker of the National Assembly act as republican president in accordance with article 104(3) of the amended constitution, but the court refused to hear the application. This in a way compromised the court proceedings as this allowed for interference in the court proceedings. Our lawyers advanced motions to have the 14 days dispute resolved until friday evening when they withdrew their advocacy. To this effect, the 1st and the 2nd respondent on Friday sought leave arising from Judge Sitali’s misguided position. The president of the constitutional court granted the 1st and 2nd respondents who are President Hakainde Hichilema and His running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM), leave to prepare legal representation and adjourned to Monday 5th August 2016.

Our argument is that the court was inconsistent and failed to live up to their earlier decisions and continued changing positions almost in each sitting. As you may be aware, two judges namely Judge Chibomba and Judge Munalula disagreed with the idea by other three judges (Judge Mungeni, Sitali and Mulonda) to throw out our petition on the basis of an application made by Patriotic Front lawyers explaining the lapse of time.The two Judges who agreed with us contended that the decisions should not be made using one clause or one article in the constitution but instead read together with other clauses. Judge Munalula and Judge Chibomba submitted that petitioners needed to be heard in accordance with article 18 of the constitution of Zambia.They further submitted that justice shall be administered without undue regard to procedural technicalities and that justice shall be done to all without discrimination. Judge Munalula also argued that it could have been good if the petitioners were given time to prove their allegations.

Finally, we wish to tell the nation that we have rejected the court ruling in that the judgment was passed on an application from the respondents without allowing us to respond. How can the court tell us to prepare for a hearing and then come to deliver a judgment? This is the question we have as petitioners among other questions.

Issued By:

Stephen Katuka

UPND Secretary General

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