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LAZ asks ConCourt to stop National Assembly considering Bill 10

LAW Association of Zambia has sought an injunction in the Constitutional Court restraining the Natitional Assembly from considering Constitutional Amendment Bill No.10 pending determination of the petition against the President and two others.

This is in a matter where LAZ petitioned President Edgar Lungu, Attorney General Likando Kalaluka and the National Assembly over their decision to remodel Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 10 of 2019 as it contravenes Article 1(1) of the Constitution.

According to an affidavit in support of ex-parte summons for an interim injuction filed by association president Eddie Mwitwa, unless restrained by the court and until the constitutionality of the respondent’s action is examined by the court, the President, the Attorney General and the National Assembly would continue with the legislation of the Bill.

LAZ fears that the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill No.10 would be enacted it into law thereby rendering its petition by the association an academic exercise.

Mwitwa stated that LAZ asked the National Assembly not to proceed with consideration of Bill No.10 while the matter is pending determination before the Constitutional Court but the Clerk of the National Assembly said the Speaker was unable to yield to the demands because the National Assembly enjoys exclusive and unfettered jurisdiction on the conduct of its internal proceeding.

Mwitwa contended that the Ckerk of the National Assembly advised that the house had elected its discretion to allow the consideration of the Bill by the select committe.

He said in his capacity as LAZ president, he was forced to issue a statement outlining certain concerns that he had on the decision by the respondents to change the Constitution but they did not react to his statement.

He stated that to date, the National Assembly has not given a response to demands by LAZ to halt the legislation process to enact the Bill into a law while the matter was still pending before the Constitutional Court.

Mwitwa contended that the National Assembly wrote to LAZ asking it to submit a detailed memorandum on the ramifications (implications) of the Bill by August 23 or attend the select committee to discuss the contents of the memorandum.

He said LAZ wrote back to the National Assembly and refused to submit or attend the select committee as the issue of the consequences (Ramifications) of the Bill was subject of adjudication before the court.

And Contitutional Court judge Annie Sitali has set September 17 for a compliance conference and September 30 for hearing of Attorney General Likando Kalaluka’s notice of motion to have the petition dismissed on points of law.

Kalaluka has asked the Constitutional Court to dismiss the petition by the Law Association of Zambia as the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court does not extend to hearing a petition on an allegation that a Bill which is proposed law contravenes the Constitution.

Kalaluka has argued that the decision by President Lungu, himself and the National Assembly of Zambia to table Constitution Amendment Bill No.10 of 2019 for alteration was in line with the Constitution.

Justice Sitali has further warned the Law Association to respond to the Attorney General on or before September 11.

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