THE PF want to use Bill 10 to completely remove Article 50 of the Constitution to block the opposition from challenging the nomination of President Edgar Lungu for the 2021 presidential elections, says Josephs Akafumba.
And Akafumba, who is NDC vice-president, says President Lungu, being a lawyer, knows that he does not qualify for the 2021 presidential elections.
In an interview, Akafumba, a prominent lawyer and former justice permanent secretary, said even a student of Constitutional Law can conclude that the Constitution Court judgment does not make President Lungu eligible.
“Any attempt to field President Lungu in 2021 will be a serious breach of the constitution to which the returning officer has all powers to disallow. However, should the returning officer accept the nomination, we will challenge it. Now being fully aware that the opposition may challenge President Lungu’s nomination, they have covered themselves under Bill 10 by completely or attempting to remove Article 50 in the Constitution which gives power to any person to challenge the nomination of a candidate, so that what only remains is that you can only challenge the results,” he said.
“So this is where the entire Bill 10 hangs on. It hangs on the eligibility of President Lungu because they know very well that if they leave the Constitution the way it is, his candidature will be challenged. So for once let’s learn to follow our Constitution and it is for this reason that all Zambians, especially our MPs should stand up and reject Bill 10 because it is meant to facilitate the 3rd term for President Lungu,” Akafumba said.
He indicated that the ConCourt judgment on the eligibility of President Lungu read or by use of sign language, does not make him eligible.
Akafumba added that it was not the first time that the PF had violated the constitution.
He noted that even the PF constitution had been neglected by President Lungu.
“The Mulungushi convention which elected Mr Lungu violated the PF constitution through the showing of hands, elbows and even nodding to elect Mr Lungu,” he said.
“The question posed by Dan Pule and his colleagues for determination by the Concourt reads as follows: “Whether His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu will have served two full terms for purposes of Article 106 (3) as read with 106 (6) of the Constitution of Zambia at the expiry of his current term.’ Now what should be of interest to Zambians is that the ConCourt tactically changed this question to read as follows: ‘Whether in terms of Article 106 (3) and (6) the President’s term that ran from 25th January 2015 to 13th September 2016 and straddled two constitutional regimes can be considered as a full term’. This is what they did. We are not quarrelling with ‘Term’, Term is five years, no one is bothered about that. From there you can see that when they rephrased the question, President Lungu was removed as a person, whether he qualifies to stand. What they where determining was the Presidential term…the exclusion clause is not term. Exclusion clause is holding office. There is nowhere in the judgment that the ConCourt says that President Lungu qualifies,” said Akafumba.