IF President Edgar Lungu is allowed to contest next year’s elections and wins, there shall be a constitutional crisis as he would have been in office for over 11 years, says Luxon Kazabu.
In an interview, the former livestock and fisheries deputy minister said the drafters of the Constitution put in a prohibitive clause stopping any Head of State from being in office for over 10 years.
“I, as a concerned citizen, want to add my voice on the eligibility of President Edgar Lungu to stand in 2021. My take is that the Constitution is very much clear in Article 106 (1) which provides that the term of office for the President is five years, but the same Article 106 (3) says anyone who has held office twice as President is not eligible,” he said. “In my view, that is the guiding provision in the Constitution. It prohibits anyone who has held office twice. I am reading the minds of the drafters of the Constitution. It is very clear from where I stand that they put in that provision to prevent a constitutional crisis. Taking what others are saying that President Lungu just served 18 months (after the death of Michael Sata) the danger is that if Edgar Lungu is elected to two 5-year terms plus 18 months, it then exceeds the constitutional provision of two 5-year terms which is 10 years as he would have been in office for 11 years and 6 months and that constitutes a constitutional crisis.”
Kazabu said the drafters of the Constitution had in mind unforeseen circumstances such as what happened with the death of presidents Levy Mwanawasa and Michael Sata.
The former Nkana PF member of parliament said he was on the right side of the debate of people who are saying that President Lungu was not eligible to contest the 2021 presidential elections.
“I fully support the young man John Sangwa. Time has come as Zambians to celebrate those that have succeeded in certain fields such as Sangwa, Professor Muna Ndulo and Professor Patrick Mvunga. These are authorities when it comes to constitutional matters, despite some people disparaging and pouring scorn on them. Sangwa is saying what is in the interest of the nation,” said Kazabu.
The PF insists that President Lungu will be on the ballot in 2021 following the Constitutional Court’s interpretation of a term of office and that the Head of State did not serve a full term of office in the period January 2015 and August 2016.