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ConCourt dismisses UPND’s appeal against single judge’s decision in Lungu swearing in case

THE Constitutional Court has dismissed an appeal by the UPND against the decision of a single judge who disjoined Speaker Patrick Matibini to the matter where the party challenged the swearing into office of President Edgar Lungu and his Vice Inonge Wina in 2016.

The UPND had asked the Constitutional Court to hear their appeal, arguing that the motion by Attorney General Likando Kalaluka to strike out the appeal for being irregular lacked merit and be dismissed with costs.

Kalaluka had applied that the appeal by the UPND be struck out because they did not seek leave of the court before filing the summons.

On September 7, 2016, Hakainde and GBM sought the determination of whether President Lungu and Vice-President Wina could be sworn into office in the absence of a declaration by the Constitutional Court that the August 11, 2016 elections were valid.

The Attorney General applied that the application be set aside and a single judge, after hearing all the parties, dismissed the entire case without it being heard and decided on merit.

The UPND appealed against the decision of the single judge but the Attorney General took out another motion, seeking the setting aside of the same and submitted that the appeal was not lodged within 10 days from the date of ruling of the single judge.

Ruling in the matter, Constitutional Court president Hildah Chibomba, sitting with judges Mungeni Mulenga, Enock Mulembe, Margaret Munalula and Martin Musaluke, dismissed the appeal by the UPND for being incompetent and irregular.

The court said the UPND did commit the breaches on their summons of appeal and indicated that a proper procedure and practice must have been followed as set out in the court’s rules.”

“By way of emphasis and for clarity, the proper procedure and practice that a party who is aggrieved by a decision of a single judge of the Constitutional Court and wishes to challenge it in the full court must follow the procedure set out in Order 59 of the RSC as guided by Order 1 Rule 1 (1) and (2) of the CCR. Having found that the petitioners did commit the breaches outlined above, which we found to go to the root of their summons on appeal and having found that as a result of the said breaches, the summons on appeal is incompetent as it was irregularly filed, we dismiss it. Each party to bear own costs,” said judge Chibomba.

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