We Need Inquiry Into Constitutional Lacunas - Mulongoti
Mike Mulongoti has proposed holding an inquiry into the lacunas in the 2016 amended Constitution in relation to how they found themselves into the supreme law of the land.
And Chishimba Kambwili said President Edgar Lungu is a weakest opponent to stand against in the 2021 presidential elections.
Reacting to the Constitutional Court’s judgment that President Lungu did not serve a full term and can contest in 2021 against clear provision that a person who has held the presidency twice is ineligible to contest, Mulongoti wondered whether President Lungu, his former justice minister Ngosa Simbyakula and Attorney General Likando Kalaluka had tampered with the Constitution for it to have so many lacunas.
He said the so many lacunas and appointment of Constitutional Court judges whom the President knew that by law were not qualified manifested in the judgment delivered on Friday.
“I was not shocked; the gentleman [President Lungu] had the Constitution with him for a long time so he [was] free to do whatever he did and I am very sure that they…that constitution, himself, the Minister of Justice, not the current one but starting with Simbyakula who was there, Given Lubinda and the Attorney General, they must have tampered with that Constitution. It has so many lacunas, which were not intentional because I don’t think the people who crafted the constitution, the technical people had intentions to let the lacunas come from nowhere,” Mulongoti said.
“He went on to appoint Constitutional Court judges who he knew very well that by the law they were not qualified and secondly he also intimidated those same judges. Thirdly, he also went to his surrogates, the Pules [Dan] and what have you, to ask them go to court to make an application to determine his eligibility. He went to the same court he intimidated. Now you can understand, the court was under pressure from him and the surrogates were just pawns in the game, they have nothing to do with eligibility, they were just pawns in the game.”
He suggested setting up an inquiry to look at the Constitution to see who brought what and what the submissions of Zambians were.
Mulongoti questioned where the so many lacunas in the Constitution came from and if the people who drafted it intended that they should be there.
“What this means is that the people of Zambia have been taken for a ride and what we need to do is set up an inquiry to look at the Constitution to see who brought what, what are the submissions of the people of Zambia. Unless we do that we will end up with people tampering with the constitution and getting away with it. How can you have so many lacunas in the constitution? Where did the lacunas come from? Were they intentioned by people who drafted the constitution or in the drafting they did not understand what the people intended in their submissions? It’s not possible that the constitution can have so many lacunas,” said Mulongoti.
“Look at it this way; the issue of grade 12, we have these blind people in Parliament who went to legislate against themselves, meaning that this one was not of interest to him [President Lungu], that’s why he let it pass.”
Some of the lacunas in the constitution relate to ministers remaining in office following dissolution of the National Assembly, which is applicable only with a provision that they should be appointed outside parliament; the duration to hear a presidential election petition; and the confusion over a full presidential term and holding office.
Meanwhile, Kambwili said the Constitutional Court judgment that paved the way for President Lungu’s third term bid was laughable.
The National Democratic Congress consultant, however, said President Lungu was a weakest opponent to stand against in the 2021 presidential elections.
Kambwili said he was ready to face President Lungu on the ballot.
“Very much, he is the weakest opponent we can ever meet and I think it’s the work of God. The judgment is a laughing matter, purely a laughing matter but what can we do, the ConCourt have ruled? Have you ever seen a judgment where even the court first warns that whoever is going to condemn this, the court will take action…it will not hesitate to cite people for contempt,” he said. “It is a laughing matter.”
Kambwili said he had never seen such a judgment before.
“Every time there is a judgment or court ruling, have you ever heard of where they warn people of contempt? Nifilya batila akanwa ka milandu kalaibala (the guilty are always afraid) so we don’t want to cast aspersions on the court but by and large what has happened during the proceedings and after the court judgment is very unusual but they have ruled and we are waiting for Lungu in 2021,” said Kambwili.
“I just want to say ukuchenjela kwa nkoko pungwa tasakamana, elo Lesa nimalyotola alinganya napafyo tuchita…kabili Ichibemba chitila ubukali bwa mutima, mutima bukali bwalengele malinso ukuya iposa muchilinga cha mulilo efyo ningalanda pali ConCourt (an Eagle is not worried by a chicken’s intelligence. God is an equaliser and then there is a Bemba adage which says a lizard’s bitterness made it throw itself in fire, that’s what I can says about the ConCourt) ruling, we wish them all the best.”
Source: The Mast