UPND deputy national chairperson for youth and sport Michael Chuzu says the Constitutional Court did not make any decision regarding the 2016 presidential petition. And the Chipata Magistrates’ Court has set November 30, 2018 for judgment in the matter in which Chuzu is charged with seditious practices. Chuzu is charged with seditious practices for allegedly stating that his party does not recognise Edgar Lungu as duly elected President.
When asked by public prosecutor Bright Lishebo yesterday whether the Electoral Commission of Zambia did declare the winner of the 2016 presidential election, Chuzu said the ECZ declared Edgar Lungu as a winner. When asked whether the court declared Edgar Lungu a winner, Chuzu said the court never made any decision on the matter.
When further asked who the President of Zambia was, Chuzu said it was Edgar Lungu. Earlier, Chuzu said at the time he gave an interview to Chipata TV, his party’s national management committee had sat and reviewed the presidential petition which was before the courts of law.
“This case was given 14 days in which to be disposed of but on record the case only took 10 days and it was disposed of. The view of the national management committee ,which I am part of, was that since the court did not declare the winner, it was the view of the party that it did not recognise both Edgar Lungu or Hakainde Hichilema,” Chuzu said. “The national management committee was given the mandate to explain to the nation the position of the party and I was one of those expected to explain the position of the party.”
He said the party’s position did not mean it wanted to create problems in the country or rise against government.
“As UPND, we are a peace loving party and as Zambians we have to make sure there is peace in the country. I have been a member of UPND since 1998 until now. We have lost elections, our president has lost elections five times but despite losing we never caused confusion although sometimes we are against the outcomes of the elections,” Chuzu said.
He said he was very conscious about what was to come after he gave an interview to Chipata TV.
“After I gave an interview to Chipata TV, there was no violence in any part of the country. As politicians, it is our mandate to ensure that peace prevails in the country,” Chuzu said. “It can be a taboo for a senior party member like me to bring confusion.”
He said he was one of those who respects the rule of law and a promoter of the One Zambia, One Nation motto. He said Zambians had a duty to look after the country that the forefathers fought for. Chuzu’s lawyer Zevyanji Sinkala of Mleza Mwiimbu and company was not before court when his client opened his defence. Magistrate Philip Mpundu reinstalled Chuzu’s bail before adjourning the matter to November 30, 2018 for judgment.
Earlier, Chuzu told the court that he was not coming to court because he was unwell and was admitted to UTH. Chuzu was jointly charged with Chipata TV news editor Iris Mwale who was subsequently released through a nolle prosequi. The duo was charged with seditious practices contrary to section 57(1)(b) of the penal code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia.
Particulars of the offence where that on September 26, 2016 in Chipata the duo jointly and whilst acting together with intent to raise discontent among people of Zambia, seditiously uttered and published a seditious publication concerning the Government of the Republic of Zambia containing the following words, “the position of the party UPND including me, the national management met on Saturday and our position is that we do not recognise Edgar as a duly elected, so for us at the moment, we do not have a president.”