Vernon Mwanga speaks out on presidential petition

Vernon Mwanga speaks out on presidential petition

VJ-MWAANGA-2014-624x361It is irresponsible to ask opposition parties which feel aggrieved or which feel that the person who has been declared winner of a Presidential election was fraudulently elected or did not attain the threshold of 50% of the valid votes cast plus one vote , not to go the constitutional court to challenge the result and use the constitutional route to do so.
The constitutional court was sent up for this very purpose among others and articles 103, 104 and 105 of the Constitution are particularly instructive ,to hear such petitions in full and carefully examine all the evidence adduced and make a decision, which takes into account all the evidence presented to it . In the past, this was performed by a full bench of the Supreme Court and took anything from two to three years to conclude. I said at the time the constitution was being amended that it was neither reasonable nor realistic , to expect that any serious court of law of final jurisdiction would hear a serious petition within fourteen days , just like I said that it would be difficult for a government to function without Deputy Ministers who are not provided for in the amended constitution . This observation was strengthened by a ruling of the Constitutional Court early in August,2016, who held that the Deputy Ministers ceased to exist in January,2016 when the amended constitution kicked in and ordered them to pay back to the government all the salaries and allowances they had illegally earned from taxpayers between January and August. It is obvious that there are serious lacunas in our main law of the land, which will require to be dealt with urgently .

This can only be done in full consultation with the major parties represented in Parliament in order to achieve consensus which has sadly been absent in the recent past. Our country is going through a period of great anxiety and uncertainty. Press freedom is under siege as the independent media desperately struggles for survival to give the public a more balanced coverage of news, which is now in retreat. It is therefore important that our political leaders and the media should desist from making inflammatory or hate speeches and statements, which incite citizens to rise against one another and grossly undermine our national motto of one Zambia,one Nation, which has held our country for the last fifty two years. Violence of any kind and by whoever must not be condoned and we should all remain peaceful and stop taunting and mocking those who may have lost elections .

We all have a country to look after and protect for our own sake and for the sake of generations yet unborn. ” 

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